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Villgro Africa’s Recognition as Africa’s Fastest-Growing Healthcare Investment Company

Villgro Team

Villgro Africa is honoured to be recognized by Global Brands Magazine as the fastest-growing healthcare investment company in Africa for 2023. This achievement is a testament to the dedication of our team and the grit and commitment by startups we support to improve health outcomes in the continent.  As Wilfred Njagi, CEO of Villgro Africa, states, “This award strengthens our resolve to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare across Africa. We have become the first port of call for innovators, investors, development partners, and big pharma who are keen on revolutionising how healthcare is accessed in the developing world.”

Over the past nine years, Villgro Africa’s growth and success can be evidenced through the impactful companies we have nurtured. With a total investment of $3 million in seed funding, we have facilitated $25 million in follow-on funding for our incubation companies. We continually witness the unwavering commitment of our supported companies in addressing real problems and providing essential services across the continent.

Success Stories

Although there are many more we could share, there are a few companies that have achieved significant growth and achievement over the past several years.

Dawa Mkononi is a tech pharmaceutical company based in Tanzania that is improving the B2B supply chain of pharmaceuticals in order to improve access and affordability. They have grown their business significantly over the past several years, onboarding a total of 2,700 health facilities across 14 regions across Tanzania. In 2023, they grew by a factor of ten compared to 2022, primarily due to the retention of existing customers. They have also fostered partnerships with payment service providers, insurance companies, solar electricity providers, and banks to provide added value to their customers. On top of that, they recently closed a seed funding round, which is an impressive feat for any company, but is especially challenging on the African continent.

Dawa Mkononi

The Pathology Network (TPN) is a network of medical lab diagnosticians that helps close the gap that exists in accessing laboratory services. They have successfully reduced the turnaround time for one type of test called histology from a three- to four-week average to about seven days and now have a two-day option for urgent cases. They are currently serving around 40 medical facilities, over 100 doctors per month, with 10 active pathologists and have recently started working with their first international pathologist. In 2023, they raised $650,000 and have hired people to begin to prepare the company to expand beyond Kenya, which they are planning to do in 2024.

The pathology Network

BenaCare provides home health services in Kenya. Since 2022, they have grown their team from 12 to 23 people and doubled their income from 2022 to 2023. One aspect of their business was selling home care equipment, connecting patients who need certain supplies with others who no longer need them, such as hospital beds and oxygen. BenaCare now buys the equipment from patients and leases it out, making it more affordable and more convenient. They recently conducted research on kidney disease with Jomo Kenyatta University and saw that there were significant patient care gaps and decided to fundraise to offer mobile dialysis for patients in hard to reach areas. This will be rolling out in 2024 and they will be the first company in Africa to provide this service..

Bena Care ltd

Where do we go from here?

We are grateful for the recognition that we are quickly growing, and we plan to continue that trend. Several years ago, we changed from Villgro Kenya to Villgro Africa, with the intent of further expanding throughout the continent. Since then, we have collaborated with incubators in Ghana and Rwanda and are looking forward to continuing that trend.

We also plan to continue expanding our partnerships to include every stage of investment. While Villgro is designed to support earlier stage companies, we want to support the creation of a conveyor belt of investors who can continue to invest in these companies as they grow. With this in mind, we are looking forward to continuing to grow with Jaza Rift Ventures, an organisation we are partnered with to provide the next level of funding beyond what Villgro Africa provides.

“Stronger together: one platform to support innovation and inventions in digital health, medtech and biotech.” – Sewu-Steve Tawia, Managing Partner & GP, Jaza Rift Ventures

Villgro Africa is also investing in the future of Africa’s nascent biotech industry by establishing the East African BioEscalator. This is a regional biotech innovation hub that will leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotics to leapfrog development of homegrown solutions in medtech (medical devices) and biologics (mRNA, gene therapies, cell therapies, vaccines and diagnostics).

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