The closing of an oversubscribed pre-seed investment round for South Africa’s Contro, a telehealth firm that specializes in sexual health and confidence-building services, has raised a total of ZAR10.1 million (US $585,000).
Launched in May 2021, Contro provides one-time treatment for STIs, Thrush, and UTIs in addition to subscription services for birth control, erectile dysfunction therapy, and hair loss treatment.
The patient is evaluated during the consultation, and the doctor will prescribe the right prescription if they determine that they are healthy enough. Then, Contro arranges for the person’s medication to be delivered gratis and invisibly to their door each month, gives automatic refills, and enables them to discontinue at any time. Over 2,000 people have already received therapy thanks to the startup’s technology.
Four international and local venture capital firms—Plug & Play, iCubed Capital, WZ Capital, and the Jozi Angels Network—as well as well-known domestic and foreign angel investors, contributed US $585,000 in investment. Additionally, the i3 fund, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, provided grant money to Contro.
The money gives Contro the resources it needs to enhance its platform, broaden its offerings, and expand its workforce in order to facilitate targeted expansion throughout South Africa.
“Our success to date has shown that putting the customer first is key to creating a successful direct-to-consumer business in South Africa. By understanding the barriers to entry and pain points individuals go through when seeking sexual healthcare services, we have been able to build a service that fundamentally makes access cost-effective, discreet, and easier than ever before,” said Contro founder Alex Schmid.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work our team has produced, the hours dedicated, and the weekends sacrificed to get the company where it is today. Investors have witnessed that determination and the potential Contro has, which has proudly resulted in exceptional VCs, angels, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation backing us and our platform.”