NIGERIA – Nigeria-based health tech startup Helium Health has acquired Meddy, a Qatar-headquartered and UAE-based doctor booking platform for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition, termed as a great deal by Helium Health CEO Adegoke Olubusi, is unusual in the sense that it overlaps two regions that rarely do in tech: Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Meddy CEO Haris Aghadi and COO Abed Alkarim Khattab will join Helium’s leadership team as part of the deal. They will play integral roles in Helium’s execution of its GCC strategy and operations.
Helium Health’s acquisition of Meddy is a major expansion play. The company, founded by Olubisi, Dimeji Sofowora and Tito Ovia in 2016, is well-known for its core electronic medical records (EMR) and hospital management solutions in Africa.
However, it has since evolved to offer other services under its platform, including HeliumPay, a billing and payments solution; a collateral-free loan product, HeliumCredit; patient-provider and revenue cycle management service HeliumDoc; and data analytics services.
With a presence in six African countries namely Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Kenya and Uganda, Helium Health has signed more than 500 healthcare facilities. Over 7,000 medical professionals from these facilities now provide care to more than 300,000 patients monthly.
Kenya is the company’s new market, having been inaugurated in June this year. Helium Health launched in Kenya under a partnership with Philips Healthcare Technologies, Carepay and Savannah Informatics, who are local service providers, to integrate new services, including an EMR to serve the entire East African market.
While two obvious factors, exploiting what other healthcare platforms lack and taking advantage of a growing opportunity in the GCC region where investment in digital infrastructure will account for 30% of healthcare investment between 2023 to 2030, drove this acquisition and partnership, there is a third, more subtle factor Olubisi and Aghadi point out: the teams.
According to both founders, the Helium Health and Meddy teams are identical in operations, technology execution, culture and market price points. These similarities made it easy for both companies to sign off the deal in less than four months.
“Beyond the actual product and market opportunity, what made this possible was really the composition of the team, how well they executed the fact that they share a DNA and culture that’s very similar to ours,” said Olubusi.
Meddy currently serves more than 150 private clients within the UAE and Qatar. The company, backed with just US$1.8 million in VC funding, has facilitated over 200,000 doctor appointments while enabling healthcare providers to generate approximately US$130 million in billings.
As both companies come together, Olubusi says the next plan is to figure out how better to serve the GCC market with its complete EMR solutions and, at the same time, roll out telemedicine and doctor booking services for its clients in Africa.
“Over the next few months, a lot of what we’re doing is being able to better roll out these consolidated product suites in our markets and serve them more,” he said. “I mean, we want to double, triple the growth of our client base over the next two to three years and extend our reach even further to make sure that Helium Health is the top health tech provider in the GCC region just as it is in Africa.”