Over ten years ago, Founder Dr. Ola Brown started the first indigenous air ambulance service in West Africa; Flying Doctors Nigeria, after the tragic death of her sister due to a lack of emergency care.
As the air ambulance service grew across Africa and the Middle East, clients started requesting an increasing number of services, such as setting up primary healthcare clinics in remote areas, providing medical equipment, and staffing solutions. As demand for these services increased, the company set up corresponding departments and eventually evolved into an integrated end-to-end healthcare services company.
At the same time, the finance team at Flying Doctors decided to join other corporations and high net-worth individuals in 2015 to invest in a technology-focused fund with the understanding that technology would be the future of healthcare. One of the first investments was in a company called Paystack, which later led to one of the largest venture capital exits in Africa.
After Greentree fund closed, the Flying Doctors team decided to start investing in healthcare assets across Africa, recruiting experts in healthcare, finance, and project management to complement and support its portfolio. This became the Flying Doctors Investment Company.
As of October 2020, the Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Fund is one of the largest pan-African healthcare investment companies on the continent. Its portfolio includes Helium Healthcare (a digital health company), Lifestores (a technology-enabled pharmacy chain), Sygen (a manufacturer of low-cost generic medicines), Mdass (a chain of low-cost diagnostic centers), and Koniku (a biotechnology company). The current value of companies in its healthcare and wellness portfolio is nearly $200 million!
Karin Stenberg and colleagues estimate that among sixty-seven low-income countries (LICs) and middle-income countries (MICs)—representing 95% of the population of all LICs and MICs—the annual financing gap to reach the SDG health targets is more than $370 billion. About half of these countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the health financing gap is particularly acute. Africa makes up 16% of the world population and carries 23% of the global disease burden, yet it accounted for just 1% of total global health expenditures in 2015. In per-capita terms, the rest of the world spends ten times more on healthcare than Africa.
Africa’s health financing gap is at least $66 billion, and business opportunities in the healthcare and wellness sector in Africa are estimated to be worth $259 billion by 2030. This holds the potential to create sixteen million jobs! Unemployment in Africa has been linked to terrorism, crime, and illegal migration.
Healthcare isn’t just a social investment, it’s an economic one as well. For too long, doctors in Africa have held onto the knowledge base in healthcare, whilst bankers have held onto the finance. The two groups don’t communicate well, and therefore healthcare deals haven’t been made.
The Flying Doctors investment company bridges the gap by combining our expertise in healthcare infrastructure, technology, finance, and clinical medicine. Then utilising this expertise to source, finance and provide support to healthcare projects and companies across the continent.
Learn more about us on our home page at http://fdinvestmentcompany.com/