South African e-health startup Vula Mobile, which connects health workers in remote areas with specialists in urban centres, has raised a ZAR1 million (US$83,000) seed round to enable its team to go full time and focus on growth.
Launched in July 2014, Vula Mobile initially allowed health workers to capture basic patient information, take photographs, do a basic eye test and capture a brief medical history before sending it directly to a specialist.
Health workers can ask for advice over a dedicated messaging platform, and decide on the best course of care for the patient. Eyeing what it describes as the “huge potential” of the global m-health market, the startup has expanded its offering into other areas of health over the last 18 months, doubling its user base over the course of 2017.
The seed round was run in partnership investment and advisory firm HAVAÍC, giving existing Vula Mobile partners, users and stakeholders, and HAVAÍC partners, the chance to invest in the startup for a minimum of ZAR5,000 (US$414) each.
The funds from the capital raise have enabled the Vula team to go full time, with founder Dr William Mapham able to focus on growth within the health sector.
“As a startup we didn’t have the skills to raise capital on our own. The HAVAÍC team’s combined experience in finance, legal and equity sales made the innovative seed round possible,” Mapham said.