Nigeria’s Helium Health acquires Qatar’s Meddy in rare Africa-GCC deal – TechCrunch

Helium Health, a Nigeria-based tech startup in health technology, has purchased Meddy, a Qatar-based and UAE-based doctor booking platform, for an undisclosed sum.
Adegoke Olubusi, CEO of Helium Health, called the acquisition "a great deal". It is unique in that it overlaps two regions that are rarely seen in tech: Africa (GCC) and Africa (Africa).

As part of the deal, Haris Aghadi, CEO Meddy, and Abed Alkarim Khattab COO will join Helium’s leadership team. They will play "integral roles in Helium’s execution of its GCC Strategy and Operations."

Helium Health's acquisition by Meddy is a significant expansion play. In 2016, Olubisi and Dimeji Sofowora founded the company. They are well-known for their core EMR and African hospital management solutions. It has expanded to offer additional services through its platform, including HeliumPay, which is a billing and payment solution; HeliumCredit, a collateral-free loan product; HeliumCredit, a patient-provider and revenue-cycle management service HeliumDoc; as well as data analytics services.

Helium Health is present in six African countries, namely Nigeria, Ghana Senegal Liberia Kenya, Senegal and Senegal. These facilities are home to over 7,000 doctors who provide medical care for more than 300,000.

An enterprise client may need multiple services from one platform, such as an electronic medical record and management system to revenue cycle management, consolidation analytics, and telemedicine services.

Most platforms in the GCC can be used for more vertical than horizontal use cases. Vezeeta, Okadoc, and Bayzat offer online platforms for payroll management, HR administration, and healthcare insurance. Clinicy also offers a digital health management system. Enterprise clients will need to stack the different products together to create a complete EMR experience.

Although Helium Health, a SF-based company, has a broad range of B2B offerings to choose from, it is lacking in certain areas, such as appointment bookings and telemedicine, which are more consumer-facing. These services could have been developed by the company, but Meddy's expansion play made it a better choice. Meddy provides a platform for doctor booking and telemedicine to manage patient reviews and book appointments. It also offers marketing solutions to hospitals to increase their online presence and draw new patients.

Helium Health, Y Combinator, and Tencent-backed Meddy can now provide a wider range of services for health groups. Helium Doc will be formed when Meddy and Helium Health's revenue cycle management platform for patient-providers and revenue cycle management platforms merge under the name Meddy.

"There aren't many people in the GCC who could provide a suite similar to ours. Olubusi told TechCrunch that if they do, it's at a high enough price that they have priced out the market.

We can offer a complete suite that allows you to book appointments, manage your hospital management information system and market solution. This saves you time and stress from trying to consolidate multiple systems.

Aghadi says that the partnership provides interoperability for its clients, a feature absent in other EMRs or siloed individual platforms.

Many legacy products and new products don't have open APIs, making it difficult to transfer data between them. This lack of interoperability is a major problem for healthcare providers who use these platforms to make poor health decisions.

Aghadi stated that interoperability was a major challenge in the region. Having a one-stop shop like ours solves this problem.

Although there are two obvious factors that drove this partnership and acquisition, Olubisi & Aghadi highlight a third factor: the teams.

Both founders believe that the Helium Health team and Meddy team are similar in terms of technology execution, culture, and market price points. Both companies were able to sign the deal in just four months because of these similarities.

Olubusi stated that "beyond the actual market opportunity and product, what made it possible was actually the composition of their team, how they executed the fact they shared a DNA, and culture that's very comparable to ours."

Meddy currently serves over 150 private clients in the UAE and Qatar. Meddy, which was funded with $1.8 million of VC funding, has helped facilitate over 200,000 doctor visits and enabled healthcare providers to generate approximately $130million in billings.

Olubusi said that the company will be combining its EMR solutions to better serve the GCC market and also roll out telemedicine services and doctor bookings for clients in Africa.

He stated that "Over the next few weeks, a lot what we're doing" is being able better roll out these consolidated products in our markets and to serve them more. We want to triple, double or triple our client base in the next two-three years, and expand our reach to ensure that Helium Health remains the leading health tech provider in GCC, just like it is in Africa.