2022 Africa Health Tech 50

HolonIQ’s annual list of the 50 most promising Health Tech startups from Sub Saharan Africa.

Health Intelligence Unit

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October 6, 2022

The Africa Health Tech 50 is HolonIQ’s annual list of the most promising startups from across digital health, biotech, medtech and other areas where entrepreneurs are driving healthcare innovation.

Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, reflecting the highest growth rate of any continent. This demographic surge will have many consequences for Africa - economically, politically and socially - and creates a fertile environment for healthcare innovation. Africa’s geographical challenges, high disease burden and lack of physical infrastructure typically results in a difficult environment for healthcare operators. However, as demonstrated by the 2022 HolonIQ Africa Health Tech 50, there is a burgeoning community of entrepreneurs and investors intent on transforming the African healthcare landscape. Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya dominate the Health Tech 50 (representing almost 80% of the market) but the 2022 cohort reflects the range of innovation that is going on in Africa - both geographically and in terms of sub-sectors.

Exhibit 1

Download the Market Map. Companies are categorized by their main area of focus following the globalhealthcarelandscape.org.

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Customers can deep dive the open-source list on the platform. Request a demo to learn more.

Nigeria overtakes South Africa as the largest contributor to the HolonIQ Africa Health Tech 50 in 2022.

Exhibit 2

Organizations focused on digitally-delivered services dominate the 2022 list. 

The 2022 Africa Health Tech 50 is mapped to the HolonIQ Global Healthcare Landscape, an open-source taxonomy for the future of health and wellness.

By viewing the 2022 cohort against the taxonomy’s sub-sectors, it is apparent that digital treatment models are flourishing across the region - perhaps unsurprisingly given the scale of Africa and the relatively low levels of state-provided healthcare across the continent. Compared to 2021, health tech firms operating in the healthcare supply chain have also had a strong showing in 2022. The pressure of Covid-19 revealed many cracks in healthcare systems in Africa and entrepreneurs are clearly responding to the opportunities to improve how medicine and vaccines are distributed.

Exhibit 3

By zooming in closer, using the Global Healthcare Landscape’s ‘clusters’, we’re able to see where funding and innovation is concentrated in the market. Organizations such as Reliance HMO (tech-powered health insurance), mPharma (pharmacy-aggregator) and Care Point (virtual and face-to-face healthcare services) have all raised money to pursue digitally-enabled business models. Likewise, startups such as 54Gene (genetic profiling) and hearX (digital hearing solutions) have both been able to raise capital in spite of the contracting capital markets.

Exhibit 4

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The Africa Health Tech 50 is slightly older than the previous year’s cohort, underlining the value of experience in the market. 

The pandemic has had a profound impact on the global healthcare market and African health tech startups have undeniably been boosted by the fast-track implementation of ‘virtual first’ healthcare. Interestingly, however, the 2022 cohort is marginally older than the previous year’s list - with two thirds of all startups founded prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. There are still a number of fast-growth early stage companies on the list, however - with the following all founded within the past three years: Zuri Health (telehealth); Welo (home healthcare); Waspito (telehealth); Remedial Health (supply chain management software) and Klarah (nurse-booking platform).

Exhibit 5

Africa healthcare remains a primarily consumer-driven healthcare market. 

There was little movement between 2021 and 2022 in terms of the startups’ business models, with 70% of startups serving consumers directly or through B2B channels.

Exhibit 6

Track the 2022 Cohort

HolonIQ customers can track the most promising Health Tech startups from Sub Saharan Africa on the HolonIQ Market Intelligence Platform. Look for the 2022 Africa Health Tech 50 list in the Lists tab of the Organizations page. Request a Demo if you are not a customer and would like to learn more.

Deep Dive the List

Customers can deep dive the open-source list on the platform. Request a demo to learn more.

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