Berry Health, a Ghanaian consumer health platform, has raised $1.6m from Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst. Other investors in the round include Reddit COO Jen Wong, Thirty Madison co-founders Demetri Karagas and Steven Gutentag, New York tech lawyer and VC Ed and Betsy Zimmerman, and former US Surgeon General ’09 to ’13 Dr Regina Benjamin.
Berry Health’s platform offers remote diagnosis and treatment of conditions like anxiety, depression, sexual health matters, dermatology, and hair loss. Users can engage in online consultations with certified medical doctors or clinical psychologists, receive personalized treatment regimens, and conveniently get medications delivered to their doorstep, thereby preventing the need for physical appointments and the associated stigma.
“Lightspeed understands what it takes to build a successful technology-based healthcare business in various markets around the world,” said Paul Murphy, Partner at Lightspeed. “Our experience and longstanding relationship with Fredua, coupled with his unique insights on the gaps that exist for patients across sub-Saharan Africa, made us extremely excited to partner with Berry Health. We can’t wait for Fredua and the team to bring access to world-class healthcare to patients in Africa.”
The funding will enable Berry Health to enhance further and broaden its health tech platform. This investment aims to adress the widespread stigma associated with mental and sexual health in Africa.
Founded by Dr Fredua Akosa, a British-Ghanaian medical doctor, public health expert and former VC, and the team which includes VP of Marketing Lusiana Castiglione (ex-WPP), VP of Product Management Gaurav Kumar (ex-Instacart), Director of Design Daniel Harvey (ex-Babylon Health), and an expert clinical team. Berry Health is on a mission to transform the region’s healthcare landscape by providing non-judgmental services that employ technology to overcome stigma-based barriers.
Africa’s alarming STI and mental health statistics are among the reason the startup secured investment. Currently just behind Southeast Asia in STI prevalence, Africa witnesses over 80 million reported cases yearly. Alongside this, Africa’s suicide rate, which is around 11 per 100,000 people annually, is higher than the global average, per the World Health Organization. These distressing figures underscore the pressing need for addressing mental and sexual health matters in the region.
Berry Health operates on a subscription model, with an annual fee of 299GH ($26) for unlimited access to its services, a cost-effective alternative to conventional healthcare charges in Ghana. Consultations will cost $5 per session, making healthcare more accessible and affordable. Berry Health’s executive team comprises professionals from diverse backgrounds, including stints at notable companies like WPP, Instacart, and Babylon Health. The startup has instituted a medical advisory board featuring gynecologists, dermatologists, and various specialists to ensure medical expertise.
When it comes out of stealth mode, which will likely happen at the end of the next month, Berry Health plans to first serve customers in Ghana. But its goals go beyond borders; the company wants to make a big difference in healthcare across Africa.