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The State of Africa’s Healthcare Startups

According to a July 2023 market intelligence report by Salient Advisory, a pan-African healthcare research advisory, there are about 350 startups helping bypass long-running challenges around efficient distribution of quality health products in Africa. Many of these startups experienced a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic, as public systems ground to a halt. Analysts predict reduced funding in 2023 amid a global economic slowdown. Already, some startups have undergone rounds of layoffs to cut down costs. This August, London-based Babylon Health, whose platform integrated artificial intelligence, filed for bankruptcy despite being once valued at nearly $2bn. It had a partnership with Rwanda to deliver virtual primary health care there and had over 2.8 million users. Last October, Nigerian genomics research firm 54gene laid off 100 employees; this September, it began winding down operations.