Kenya’s Villgro scales across Africa to support continent’s e-health ventures

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The Nairobi-based Villgro Kenya incubator and impact investor has rebranded as Villgro Africa and expanded across the continent as it bids to support more e-health startups.

The India-based Villgro Innovations Foundation expanded to Africa in 2017 with the launch of Villgro Kenya,an early-stage business incubator and impact investor that offers mentoring, funding and access to networks to startups in the healthcare and life sciences sector in East Africa.

Since its inception, Villgro Kenya has enabled access to healthcare to those at the bottom of the pyramid, and successfully supported 21 enterprises with seed funding totalling US$1 million. Its most recent grants were made in May, and enterprises supported by Villgro have generated revenues of US$2.2 million, touching 2 million lives. 

As part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Villgro also funded 11 innovative startups that have made significant contributions to the resilience of Kenya’s health system.

Villgro is now scaling to the rest of Africa, and has rebranded for that purpose. Chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Wilfred Njagi said the goal was to impact health ventures across the African continent. 

“In the next five years, we will be scaling deep, scaling wide and scaling equitably. Part of scaling broad will be taking on a bold initiative to collaborate with local and regional hubs in joint incubation initiatives, while scaling wide will be deepening the level of support offered to enterprises,” he said.

The new Villgro Africa will work with African founders to better package their stories in order to attract investor interest, and will also assist them in addressing the social cultural barriers that hinder them from raising capital as well as legal due diligence risks.

Another goal is to address the gender gap, while it will also help in building bridges to help startups, funders, and investors to scale their reach and impact more cost effectively. 

“As we scale wide, we will also be deepening the level of support offered to enterprises using an evidence-based approach to see which interventions are helping startups win,” said Njagi.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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