Redbird is excited to publicly announce that we have closed a $1.5M Seed Round with participation from Newtown Partners (Imperial Venture Fund), Johnson & Johnson Foundation, and Founders Factory Africa. Check out the article in TechCrunch here, or the full press release below.
Health tech startup Redbird closes $1.5M seed round to expand access to rapid medical testing and digitized health records in sub-Saharan Africa
ACCRA, Ghana, March 23, 2021 – Ghana-based health tech startup, Redbird, today announced a USD1.5M seed round, with participation from Johnson & Johnson Foundation and Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund, bringing total funding raised to date to USD2M. Redbird enables patients in Ghana to easily manage their health through 5-minute medical tests offered through community pharmacies. Patients can also access their digital health records from anywhere via Redbird’s app.
According to Redbird Co-Founder and CEO, Patrick Beattie, the future of disease burden in Africa will be chronic disease, with diseases such as diabetes projected to grow by 156% over the next 25 years. For patients and healthcare professionals to properly track and manage chronic illnesses, healthcare needs to be decentralized and much more convenient, with the ability for a patient’s health information to follow them wherever they go. Redbird aims to facilitate the growth of such a system by enabling easy access to convenient testing and ensuring doctors and patients can view the details of those test results at any time.
“We’re thrilled to work with Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures and Newtown Partners. Newtown and Imperial’s expertise in African supply chains, coupled with Johnson & Johnson’s long-standing commitment to improve care for the most vulnerable populations through technology, create a strong support for our vision of revolutionizing health monitoring,” Beattie said.
Today, patients can go to any Redbird partner pharmacy – currently over 340 in Ghana – and register for the platform. They can then access any of ten available rapid tests, which are performed instantly at that pharmacy, and receive results within minutes. These results are saved to their personal Redbird health record, which can be accessed by the patients via their app or at any partner pharmacy. The team also aims to provide doctors with access to these health records under patients’ consent, providing a more complete picture of a patient’s history.
Llew Claasen, Managing Partner of Newtown Partners noted, “We’re excited about Redbird’s decentralised business model that enables rapid diagnostic testing at the point of primary care in local community pharmacies. Redbird’s digital health record platform has the potential to drive significant value to the broader healthcare value chain and is a vital step toward improving healthcare outcomes in Africa. We look forward to supporting the team as they prove out their business model and scale across the African continent.”
The funding will be used to grow Redbird’s operations within Ghana and to expand to new markets.
Redbird officially launched in Ghana in August 2018 and was accepted to the Alchemist Accelerator in Silicon Valley – as part of the April 2018 cohort – as well as to Founders Factory Africa in April 2020.
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Redbird is a health tech company in Ghana that provides patients with easy access to their digital health records via 5-minute tests available at community pharmacies. Launched in 2018, the Redbird pharmacy platform is currently available at over 350 community pharmacies and offers ten rapid tests. Redbird’s vision is to enable a future for healthcare in Africa that is decentralised and puts control of health records in the hands of patients. Tests currently available on the Redbird platform include Anemia, blood sugar, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, Hepatitis B, Malaria, Typhoid, screening for prostate cancer and pregnancy. Learn more at www.redbird.co
ABOUT THE IMPERIAL VENTURE FUND
Imperial partnered with US venture capital firm, Newtown Partners, to launch a corporate venture capital fund with an initial capital commitment of $20m. The fund identifies, invests in and develops emerging technology and disruptive business model startups in supply chain management, logistics and healthcare. Learn more at newtownpartners.com.
Imperial is an African and European focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions. With a focus on five key industries – healthcare, consumer, automotive, chemicals and industrial and commodities – Imperial takes its clients’ products to some of the fastest growing and most challenging markets in the world.