GMC Funds Nigerian Diagnostic Start-up

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By Obinna Chima

The gender lens investment portfolio of United States-based impact investor, Gray Matters Capital (GMC) has announced its investment in SonoCare, a Nigeria based health tech start-up.

SonoCare provides across the spectrum of women’s health such as on-demand mobile 3D/4D diagnostic imaging and cardiac monitoring, among others.

SonoCare provides cost-efficient programs scaled to the needs of hospitals, satellite clinics, health care providers like physicians and midwives, birthing centres, assisted living facilities as well as corporate offices using a combination of the most advanced imaging systems and highly trained, registered technologists as sonographers.

SonoCare has been a pioneer in mobile diagnostic imaging in Nigeria and the first to deploy a web/mobile resource for patient information transmission and inter-disciplinary collaboration.

It currently operates its services in Port Harcourt (River State), Lafia (Nasarawa State) and Sagbama (Bayelsa State) and Otukpo (Benue State) in Nigeria.

According to a statement, with one in 13 women in Nigeria dying during pregnancy and childbirth, and a vast majority of such deaths occurring in rural areas, GMC coLABS saw SonoCare’s mobile diagnostic medical imaging solution that leverages technology and innovation as a solution to the lack of affordable and easy to access diagnostic care services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It also revealed that the healthcare firm has screened over 26,000 women from 17 rural communities and has detected over 15,000 high-risk pregnancies.

The company has helped low-income, rural women save US$ 626,568 in costs that could have prevented them from seeking medical help, it added.

Speaking about the funding, the Managing Director, SonoCare, Dr. Moses Owoicho Enokela said: “We are excited to partner with GMC coLABS as our first institutional investor, as we both share the vision and passion to positively impact the lives of women.

“With this investment, we will be able to scale our operations through our mobile app in addition to deploying more mobile units. This will push us to reach our first 200,000 pregnancies by 2020 and to profitability.”

On her part, the Portfolio Manager, coLABS, Gray Matters Capital, Jennifer Soltis said: “With its mobile diagnostic services, SonoCare detects pregnancy complications before they become threats to the lives of women, giving those in low resource areas a better chance for safer pregnancies and deliveries.

“We are proud to support the work of Dr. Moses, a determined and resilient entrepreneur who has brought to market a solution to a problem that most lack the grit to attempt to solve at scale. We’ve been very impressed with what he’s accomplished with modest resources and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”

SonoCare, recognised by Microsoft’s Winsiders4Good program, the Obama Foundation (Africa Leaders), the Tony Elumelu Foundation and a host of others, becomes the third GMC coLABS portfolio company in Africa for Gray Matters Capital after A.R.E.D in Rwanda (2017) and Ghana’s Redbird Health Tech (2018).