In Kenya alone, over 1 million critical pathology tests are inefficiently referred from 10,000 registered medical facilities to less than 30 labs and 80 pathologists each year. This translates to a lack of access to these critical services to patients from remote areas in the country.
The Pathology Network is changing this imbalance through a membership-based lab test referral platform where subscribing hospitals are connected to an efficient network of labs and pathologists at pre-negotiated rates.
Lab tests are funneled to member labs who process them and distribute the work to a network of member pathologists through a digital pathology framework. TPN uses AI integration to assist in cancer screening and diagnosis. Patients are immediately notified of their results, saving valuable time and money.
In two years, the medical technology company has been able to deliver quality pathology services to over 9,000 patients in about one third of the country.
Dr. Joshua Kibera the Founder of The Pathology Network shares his experience working with Villgro Africa to increase access to affordable diagnostics across the region.
“Before we joined Villgro Africa, we were floundering. We knew we had potential to become a great company but didn’t have the tools or funding to test some of our basic assumptions.
One of our primary assumptions was that hospitals and pathology labs would be willing to pay for our software. To test this assumption, we needed funds to visit facilities in numerous towns and cities selling our product.
Villgro Africa’s funding helped us learn that the market wants an efficient service and not another software. We pivoted to provide the actual service which we had initially intended to enable through our product.
When we needed support in financial modeling, we turned again to Villgro Africa. They helped develop our first financial model which gave us wonderful clarity and confirmed the pivot we were already considering. To top it all, Villgro Africa paid for a sales training course, which has turned our ad-hoc sales into a repeatable sales process.
It doesn’t end there – Villgro Africa’s investment was an endorsement of our company and of us as founders. Their introductions to other investors have led to follow-on funding which is catalyzing further growth of our service. When we joined Villgro we were more of a company with an idea, now we are a company with an actual business. Thanks Villgro Africa!”
Gibson Muriuki, Villgro Africa’s Investment Manager, has worked closely with Dr. Kibera and his team reiterated the need for tailor-made business incubation programs for startups in the region.
"In my reflection of the journey with The Pathology Network for the past year, I cannot help but think of the need for an evolving and robust Startup Ecosystem that tailor-makes their program to individual startups. This includes the process of identifying viable ideas and accelerating the growth path for social enterprises.
Villgro Africa has walked the talk and lived up to its expectation of supporting African enterprises for Africans by collaborating with passionate and great entrepreneurs like Dr. Joshua, CEO at The Pathology Network, in not only achieving success but also changing the narrative for African founders."
As The Pathology Network scales to create access to quality pathology services across the region, Villgro Africa will continue to offer its support and expertise.