South African startup LocumBase, an online platform that brings medical practices and locum practitioners together through a simplified locum booking process, has secured further funding in order to help it scale.
LocumBase is an independent platform that connects locums with practices that need them most. Locums list of the platform, are verified, and can then be booked by practices, with LocumBase handling all the administration.
The startup initially took on funding from Montegray Capital and Powerforce Ventures in 2018, and this year received further boosts after taking part in the Grindstone Accelerator and joining Founders Factory Africa.
The latter came with US$40,000 in funding, and LocumBase has now taken on additional capital from E-Squared and Jozi Angels to help it continue to grow. The cash will be used to take version three of the product to market, with Zulé Vuuren, LocumBase’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO), saying it added “immeasurable value” to the business.
“We are entering the scaling phase of the business and need not only the financial backing to grow, but also the mentorship of industry professionals. Founders Factory Africa, one of our earlier backers, for example, was instrumental in the build of version three. They play a hands-on role and provide incredible support, while the financing and support from Jozi Angels and E-Squared enable us to get V3 to the wider market,” she said.
Vuuren said that, as a market-first, the platform is in a constant state of evolution as it aims to meet the needs of South Africa’s medical fraternity.
“A product and service like LocumBase has not been done before on the African continent. There was a lot of learning to do before our product could address the needs of the market, which is why we initially released a prototype while researching how users interact. We have learnt from that phase and have now released the first scalable commercial version of LocumBase in V3,” she said.
Abu Cassim, founder of Jozi Angels, said LocumBase was a timely solution with a long-term value proposition for South Africa and other markets.
“COVID-19 has exposed a lot of our inefficiencies, locally and globally. In the short term a solution like this can help redirect healthcare support where it’s needed, when it’s needed and it’s all digital. In the long term it brings a highly connected community to a very traditional space and interfaces with them through a simple, easy to navigate solution. LocumBase will challenge the systemic barriers inherent in our healthcare sector and help healthcare workers help people,” he said.