Nigeria’s medtech startup, MDaaS, builds network of diagnostic and primary care facilities. It just raised $1 million from Consonance Investment Managers, Techstars, and FINCA Ventures. It will use the money for expansion across Nigeria and broad Africa.
MDaaS Global provides all patients with the diagnostics they need to identify health issues earlier, gain access to treatment, and ultimately, live happier, healthier lives. Through its patient-facing brand BeaconHealth Diagnostics, MDaaS Global offers a wide range of services including imaging services such as digital x-ray, ultrasound, & and mammography, cardiac services such as ECG and echo, and lab services, ranging from chemistry analysis and immunoassay to hematology. MDaaS Global is the centralized diagnostic department for surrounding hospitals and clinics in the community, currently partnering with over 60 referring health facilities at its flagship center in Ibadan, Nigeria.
MDaaS, which operates locally in Nigeria as BeaconHealth Diagnostics, creates affordable and accessible diagnostic services in clinically underserved communities. It builds and runs centers that offer radiology, cardiology, and laboratory services targeted at the populations least reached by existing health services?—?the low- to middle-income populations outside of major cities. Its facilities serve as outsourced diagnostic centers for surrounding clinics and secondary (state) hospitals.
Core to MDaaS’ strategy is minimizing operational and acquisition costs in order to offer quality but affordable services to its clients. Tech-enabled centers and the economies of scale of running a chain of centers allow MDaaS to centralize core functions, including radiology. An intense focus on sourcing low-cost refurbished equipment has driven MDaaS to develop in-house procurement expertise that can acquire and ship such equipment to Nigeria for a price that is 60 percent below local rates. The equipment is reliable and high performing, achieving 99 percent uptime with minimal maintenance costs. The result of this strategy is that MDaaS can offer a much higher quality of service than is available locally, while also guaranteeing the lowest possible price.
The press release
Healthtech company MDaaS Global, which is building a network of tech-enabled diagnostic facilities in Nigeria, has closed on seed funding totaling US$1 million. Led by Consonance Investment Managers, with participation from Techstars, FINCA Ventures, an investment initiative of FINCA International, the Fund for Africa’s Future, a fund led by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Nadayar Enegesi, Greentree Investment Company, and others, the round will see MDaaS scale and replicate its innovative diagnostic center business model, as the company seeks to open 100 additional centers in Nigeria and West Africa over the next five years.
MDaaS was created to address the lack of high-quality, affordable diagnostic services available for low- and middle-income sub-Saharan Africans, starting with Nigeria’s 130 million low- and middle-income patients. Where available and up-to-date, health services are unaffordable for most of Nigeria’s population, and expensive out-of-pocket costs discourage patients. MDaaS leverages its vertically-integrated supply chain, technology platform, and patient-centered design to provide modern, convenient services at a price point patients can afford. It offers a wide array of high-impact diagnostic procedures from simple malaria tests to echocardiograms and pap smears. And MDaaS’ affordability is helping change the healthcare narrative, with basic procedures, like obstetric ultrasounds, starting at just US$4.
Founded in 2016 by Oluwasoga Oni, Opeyemi Ologun, Genevieve Barnard Oni, and Joseph McCord, MDaaS was incubated at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship and was part of the inaugural Techstars Impact class of 2018. The company launched its flagship diagnostic center in Ibadan, Nigeria’s 3rd most populous city, in November 2017 under its patient- and physician-facing brand BeaconHealth. To date, the company has served over 9,000 low- and middle-income patients, speedily identifying health issues and connecting them with a variety of medical specialists and affordable treatment options.
Having partnered with over 60 referring health facilities, MDaaS serves as the centralized diagnostic department for surrounding hospitals and clinics within Ibadan. MDaaS also partners globally with corporates, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and developmental organizations seeking top-tier diagnostics for their employees and beneficiaries.
Speaking on the funding, MDaaS Global’s CEO and Co-Founder Oluwasoga Oni said, “This funding round fuels our next phase of growth, allowing us to continue providing modern, connected healthcare for Africa’s next billion. With diagnostics as the bedrock of modern medicine and key to the treatment of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes – which are on the rise within the continent – unbridled access to quality healthcare is crucial. We are immensely proud of our brick-and-mortar presence; merging physical patient care with state-of-the-art technology enables us to reach more patients with the care that they deserve.”
It is estimated that 40% of the medical equipment in sub-Saharan Africa is currently obsolete or out of service. On a continent where public healthcare is chronically underfunded – receiving less than 5% of GDP, MDaaS presents the opportunity to bolster poorly-equipped hospitals and clinics in what is evaluated to be a $1.6 billion market in Nigeria alone.