Cameroonian health company Waspito has obtained a $2.5 million seed extension from DP World through Newtown Partners, Saviu Ventures, AAIC Investment, Axian Ventures, and CFAO’s Health54 to support its expansion in the Francophone area.
Waspito is a health-oriented social network where members may access and consult with certified medical professionals via video conversations. It also makes it easier to administer medication and collect samples from residences.
With support from a fresh funding round following last year’s $2.7 million seed, the business expanded to Ivory Coast at the beginning of the year, where it is also testing a hybrid model. Moving forward, it plans to expand to Senegal and Gabon.
Just before the COVID epidemic became a worldwide health disaster in 2020, Jean Lobe Lobe created Waspito. This was an opportune moment for the health company to launch its aim of ensuring that healthcare is available to everyone.
Waspito, on the other hand, aimed to take a distinct telemedicine strategy. Lobe created a platform where customers could directly connect with doctors rather than one requiring pre-registration and consultation appointment booking.
It doesn’t make sense to go online and schedule an appointment later when someone is ill or in urgent need of medical attention. We provide instantaneous video consultations for this reason, Lobe told TechCrunch.
A user may choose a doctor from a list of those currently online when they log on to the website, which Lobe calls Facebook for healthcare. Additionally, a technician from one of its partner laboratories is dispatched to collect samples when a doctor prescribes medical testing. Waspito has partnered with a few nearby hospitals to help those needing admission or more thorough evaluations.
“We have partnered with hospitals so that care can continue in the closest hospital following a consultation on Waspito, without requiring additional registration or payment for consultations.” Our main goal is to link the healthcare ecosystem online and serve as a one-stop shop for all healthcare services, which is why we have gotten in touch with all these players, according to Lobe.
Before appointments, patients pay using various methods, including insurance, which, according to Lobe, encourages physicians to stay online to make more money. Additionally, users may anonymously join numerous condition support groups to receive personalized guidance.
According to Lobe, one method to make physicians more accessible to patients living in target countries—where there are, on average, less than two doctors per 10,000 people—is to have them available online all the time.
The firm won the VivaTech awards this year as the best health startup in Africa, has reached 650,000 customers in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast, has onboarded 950 doctors, and has conducted 60,000 consultations.
Waspito expects that the number of consultations conducted via its platform will increase when it implements the hybrid model it is testing on the Ivory Coast, where it has created mini-clinics to reach offline patients. The firm is setting up these clinics within the extensive nationwide coverage of La Poste Corporation, the national postal service of Ivory Coast. Patients can electronically contact doctors and access other healthcare services their partners provide, with the assistance of the nurses staffing these venues.
Because of the high cost of cell phones and the internet, most African consumers stay offline, despite the continent’s growing digital economy. This makes Waspito’s approach essential. Cameroon and Senegal will receive the hybrid approach at the end of the following year’s first quarter. Raisers, a fundraising advice business, advised Waspito throughout the deal.
Since everyone has access to healthcare, we must engage with everyone. We believe these mini-clinics are the most effective means of reaching underprivileged communities, added Lobe.