Cork businessman secures $3m in funding for Kenyan e-health business
MyDawa manufactures generic drugs that it then supplies to customers via its platform
MyDawa, which launched in March 2007, now has over 80,000 registered users. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto
MyDawa, a Kenyan technology company founded and led by Cork businessman Neil O’Leary, has raised $3 million (€2.7 million) in investment to bring total funding to date to $8 million (€7.1 million).
The company, whose name translates from Swahili as “MyMedicine”, manufactures generic drugs that it then supplies to customers via a website and mobile phone app, with the medicines delivered to an agreed pharmacy.
All products sold are sourced via World Health Organisation-approved centres and sell for as much as 40 per cent below market price.
MyDawa, which launched in March 2007, now has over 80,000 registered users. It is regulated by the Kenyan Pharmacy and Poisons Board and last year became the first company in the country to secure a pharmacy e-retailing licence.
In addition to supplying direct to consumers, the company also helps insurance companies to make significant cost savings by helping them solve the issue of sourcing products for them.
MyDawa said it intends to use the new funding to further expand in the region.
“Our goal at MyDawa has always been to be a trusted partner for busy Kenyans by a providing convenient, private access to authentic medication and wellness products at very good value,” said Mr O’Leary.
Mr O’Leary led an initial $5 million (€4.4 million) investment in MyDawa in mid-2017. At Ion Equity, the financier was behind a number of major investments, including the creation of forecourt operator Topaz. Overall, he has helped create or control businesses with a combined turnover of $7 billion (€6.2 billion).
In addition to MyDawa, Mr O’Leary’s recent investments include Arc Devices, a US sensor technology company that has just secured $12 million (€10.7 million) in funding to commercialise a smart monitor. The businessman also has property and mining interests in France, Italy and Tunisia.
The new funding round for MyDawa was led by Africa HealthCare Master Fund, with the company intending to use the financing to further expand in the region.
“It is commendable that start-ups such as MyDawa are leveraging on the power of new technologies to disrupt the healthcare industry to tackle the region’s challenges of access, quality and affordability of healthcare,” said Susumu Tsubaki, director of the Africa HealthCare Master Fund