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Home Startups Babylon Health, operating as Babyl in Rwanda, raises a hefty $550m to disrupt traditional healthcare

Babylon Health, operating as Babyl in Rwanda, raises a hefty $550m to disrupt traditional healthcare

by Sam Wakoba
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Babylon, UK’s digital healthcare startup which operates as Babyl in Rwanda has raised a $550 million investment at an over $2bn valuation to launch in the US and Asia and build innovations covering chronic conditions.

The round was raised from Saudi Arabia’s PIF, Munich Re’s ERGO Fund and existing Babylon shareholders Kinnevik AB and Vostok New Ventures.

In a statement, Dr Ali Parsa, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Babylon: “Our mission at Babylon is to put accessible and affordable healthcare into the hands of everyone on earth. This investment will allow us to maximise the number of lives we touch across the world. We have a long way to go and a lot still to deliver. We are grateful to our investors, our partners and 1,500 brilliant Babylonians for allowing us to forge ahead with our mission.”

Since the last funding round, Babylon has created a unique, end-to-end platform, which has the capability to provide AI-driven health services and virtual medical consultations, complemented by traditional face-to-face consultations.

Babylon now delivers 4000 clinical consultation a day, and one patient interaction every 10 seconds. It has a proven model capable of successfully improving access to high-quality healthcare at a lower cost in both developed and emerging markets.

Babylon will further advance its suite of products and AI technology into chronic care management and expand into the United States and Asia to put an accessible and affordable healthcare service in the hands of every person on earth.

Babylon offers 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week access in some countries to a health professional through virtual consultations. It now serves more than 4.3 million members worldwide and have partnered with government health authorities, leading insurers and businesses, to provide top quality care for patients. Over 1.2 million digital consultations have been completed via its over 160 partner organisations across the world.

In Rwanda, Babyl works with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rwandan Government to provide telephone consultations, prescriptions and health information for people in Rwanda via their feature phones. Babyl’s technology means two million people – 30% of the country’s adult population – can now use their phone to book appointments, have consultations and receive prescriptions from doctors and nurses.

It runs clinical services in the UK, Rwanda and Canada and AI services in Malaysia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Chronic conditions are an increasing burden to affordability of healthcare across the globe. Our technology provides a solid base for a comprehensive solution and our scientists, engineers, and clinicians are excited to work on it. “We have seen significant demand from partners across the US and Asia. While the burden of healthcare is global, the solutions have to be localised to meet the specific needs and culture of each country.”

In this round, Vostok New Ventures invested $71 mln and its funding includes the previously announced convertible debt investments of USD 16 mln. Vostok New Ventures will own 10.6% of Babylon.

Kinnevik participated with USD 50 million in Babylon’s funding round. Kinnevik is expected to own 16.2 per cent of Babylon. Kinnevik’s participation in the funding round includes the conversion of USD 19m in previously provided financing prior to 30 June 2019.

The full funding round values Babylon at $2 bn post-money. Babylon has $450 million closed already while another $50 million will be closed at a later date, and the remaining $100m is being closed in a short period.

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