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Redbird closes $1.5m seed funding round

Ghana: Ghanaian e-health startup Redbird has closed a US$1.5 million seed round to expand access to rapid medical testing and digitized health records in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launched in 2018, Redbird provides patients with easy access to their digital health records via five-minute tests available at community pharmacies. Its pharmacy platform is currently available at over 350 community pharmacies and offers 10 rapid tests.

Results are saved to a user’s personal Redbird health record, which can be accessed by the patients via their app or at any partner pharmacy. The team also aims to provide doctors with access to these health records under patients’ consent, providing a more complete picture of a patient’s history.

The startup, which has in the past raised funding from coLABS and Founders Factory Africa, has now announced a US$1.5 million seed round, with participation from Johnson & Johnson Foundation and Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund.

This funding brings Redbird’s total secured investment to date to US$2 million and will be used to grow its operations within Ghana and to expand to new markets.

“We’re thrilled to work with Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures and Newtown Partners. Newtown and Imperial’s expertise in African supply chains, coupled with Johnson & Johnson’s long-standing commitment to improving care for the most vulnerable populations through technology, create strong support for our vision of revolutionizing health monitoring,” Redbird co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Patrick Beattie said.

Llew Claasen, the managing partner of Newtown Partners, said he was excited about Redbird’s decentralized business model that enables rapid diagnostic testing at the point of primary care in local community pharmacies.

“Redbird’s digital health record platform has the potential to drive significant value to the broader healthcare value chain and is a vital step toward improving healthcare outcomes in Africa. We look forward to supporting the team as they prove out their business model and scale across the African continent,” he said.

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