Kenyan startup Capsule has raised US$100,000 to take Flare, a mobile app that allows patients or hospitals to request emergency help using their smartphone, to market.
The app allows patients or hospitals to see available ambulance options and request help quickly.
Co-founder Caitlin Dolkart told Disrupt Africa the startup has raised an angel round of US$100,000 from two American angel investors.
The company is still negotiating with a Kenyan angel investor, which could take the total round to an amount closer to US$150,000.
“We plan to raise a seed round at the end of 2016 to be able to commercially launch in Kenya, build out our team and explore our next market,” Dolkart said.
Aside from giving hospitals and patients access to ambulances, Flare also enables private ambulances to reach more customers and make better data–driven business decisions. During a pick-up, it alerts hospitals that a patient is on-the-way.
Dolkart said the idea for Flare had arisen due to the enormous challenges prevalent in the Kenyan healthcare sector, notably the need to bring patients closer to a growing and uncoordinated healthcare marketplace.
“While new clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, doctors and ambulances are added to the system each year, demand has not kept pace in large part because there is a lack of technical infrastructure for patients to learn about and connect to their healthcare options,” she said.
“Today, there is no well-functioning emergency response dispatch system like 911. In Nairobi, Kenya it takes up to two hours to get an ambulance. During an emergency, patients struggle to locate and connect to private ambulance companies through their individual dispatch phone numbers. They are often unaware of their options and waste critical time. Meanwhile, there are up to one hundred available ambulances sitting idly around Nairobi waiting for patients.”
Flare has previously received support from different initiatives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Dolkart completed her MBA, and won some startup and entrepreneurship prizes. It also took part in the recent three-month Merck accelerator in Nairobi.