Home » Founded by Nairobi-based entrepreneur, startup bags $20 million in funding from UK investor

Founded by Nairobi-based entrepreneur, startup bags $20 million in funding from UK investor

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Neil O'Leary

MyDawa, a Kenyan e-health startup founded by Nairobi-based entrepreneur Neil O’Leary, has secured $20 million in funding from private equity investor Alta Semper Capital. 

This substantial investment will fuel the company’s expansion plans and enable it to offer an all-in-one health platform to users across the region.

The $20-million funding round represents the largest single investment MyDawa has received to date, marking a significant milestone for the Neil O’Leary-led startup.

With the aim of regional expansion, the startup has acquired Ugandan pharmacy chain Guardian Health, further solidifying its position as an all-in-one health platform.

O’Leary, co-founder of MyDawa, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership with Alta Semper Capital, stating: “Alta Semper’s ambition perfectly aligns with that of MyDawa, and their support brings the drive, connections, and clout we need to succeed.”

“This funding, combined with our latest acquisition, positions us for a great expansion opportunity while enhancing health outcomes for our users,” the Nairobi-based entrepreneur added.

While the exact amount of the Guardian Health acquisition remains undisclosed, MyDawa confirmed that it is one of many strategic moves it plans to make as it expands beyond Kenya. The acquisition includes Guardian Health’s extensive network of 19 stores in Kampala and neighboring regions.

MyDawa has also appointed a new CEO, Priscilla Muhiu, to lead the company’s growth phase. Muhiu, previously the general manager for the Kenyan market at Glovo, brings valuable expertise to drive MyDawa’s expansion plans.

In addition to the acquisition, MyDawa has announced partnerships with major health providers and businesses as it experiences rapid growth in sales of its own brand products.

The startup plans to collaborate with Kenya’s clinic chains to extend its reach and work with insurers and others to develop best-practice chronic care solutions, addressing the increasing prevalence of conditions such as diabetes in Africa.

Since its inception in 2016, MyDawa, under the leadership of O’Leary, has evolved from an e-pharmacy to encompass online and in-person consultations and laboratory services. The startup utilizes mobile technology to source and sell pharmaceutical and health products that are safer and more affordable for its users.

Prior to the latest funding round, MyDawa had raised significant capital from various sources. Its seed round in March 2017 garnered $1.5 million, followed by a $3-million Series-A round involving Africa HealthCare Master Fund and Indigo Partners in 2019. In 2021, the company received an additional $1.2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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