02 December 2019, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Orbitly INC, with its subsidiary eHealth IT Services PLC (Orbit Health) is pleased to announce that it has successfully closed its first external seed-investment that was co-led by Africa based Savannah VC fund and NY based Betam Group, LLC along with other diaspora HNW investors.
The fund raise comes at a time where Orbit Health has been selected as a successful Ethiopian Digital Health company part of the consortium, led by US based John Snow Inc, to help transform Ethiopia’s healthcare digitally, with a contract amounting to $63M over 5 years. The fund will contribute in helping Orbit Health increase its human capital to roll out its ambitious growth plans and delivery of its contractual wins in Ethiopia as well as invest in its digital offerings curated to healthcare facilities in Ethiopia.
Pazion Chernet, Co-Founder & CEO of Orbitly, commented: “It gives me a great pleasure welcoming our strategic investors that will position us from a startup to high rise with their tremendous VC funding and growth experience and wisdom. I am especially proud to announce our first external fund raise that coincided with our double win in digitizing Ethiopia’s health care with our partners JSI, the USAID and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health. We started Orbitly with our firm belief that a healthy society is the foundation of a productive society and we will do our part in changing the misconception that living a healthy life in Sub-Saharan Africa is often treated as a luxury, doing so by helping strengthen the weak healthcare infrastructure through end-to-end innovative technology solutions. This fund raise will enable us deliver on our promise at a scale and we are extremely hopeful of what the future holds to us and our clients.”
Mbwana Alliy, Managing Partner of Savannah Fund that led the investment round of its first ever for Ethiopia, said “We are excited to invest in Ethiopia and participate in its growing startup scene making it our 7th country in Africa. Orbitly has the potential to transform Ethiopia’s healthcare ecosystem by through digitization across both public and private hospitals and clinics. I would also like to thank my old friend Robel Alemu and Yilkal Abate, Ethiopian Diaspora in the USA who connected me to Pazion when I visited Seattle last year. I look forward to spending more time in Ethiopia to bring our experience on the continent and internationally to help Orbitly succeed”.
Savannah Fund is an Africa focused early stage Tech Fund that has now invested in over 30 startups in Africa since founding in 2012 in fintech, logistics, enterprise software, education and healthcare.
Betam Group Holdings, a New York based family investment firm, co-led the round along with bringing board advisors with extensive medical and global public health experience. “We’re excited about Orbitly for multiple reasons; perhaps the greatest reason being that my parents have spent their entire careers in healthcare and continue to do so. So it is an area which is near and dear to our hearts, and as a family investment firm we thought we can bring a lot of value to advise the Orbitly team as it embarks on a truly game changing endeavor of digitizing the healthcare space. Delivering quality care is crucial and, in the product Pazion and his team have built, we saw a great potential to do this in scale and to do it well. This represents the second investment in the relatively short life of our firm and we couldn’t be more excited at the potential we see for Ethiopia and Africa as a whole to support start-ups like Orbitly, that are driving real change on the continent”, said Betam Group’s co-founder, Amanuel Alemu, commenting on their investment into Orbitly.
Ibex Frontier LLC, the Investment Advisors focused on Ethiopia, advised on the transaction and structuring of this round.