New Investment: Susu, Accessible and Affordable Healthcare for Africans

By Blanca Ribas Pombo and Antonio Rojas Published on November 14, 2022

Susu was founded in 2019 in Lyon, France. They aim to make healthcare accessible and affordable for Africans through an integrated approach connecting patients, their families, and healthcare professionals. It offers care packages or bundles to patients suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and pregnant women who require careful management to monitor their conditions and get preventative advice to live the best way with their conditions.

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Thirty-four million members of the African diaspora support 120 million people in their home countries; ensuring family members back home are adequately cared for is a cause of great concern. However, only a small proportion of the money they regularly send is converted into healthcare for their loved ones.

Meet the team behind Susu

Susu was created due to a personal experience of Bola Bardet, co-founder and CEO, who unfortunately experienced the market gap for this solution from a challenging experience. This made her aware of the problem being solved and the necessity of it. Moreover, Susu’s stellar team has previous experience in insurance, health, and digital transformation, and all graduated from European Tier 1 universities such as HEC or Ecole Polytechnique. The team has grown to 22 people, including a presence in Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Senegal.

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Bola Bardet, cofounder and CEO, has previous experience with JP Morgan and Richemont, obtained her Executive MBA from HEC Paris, and is a CFA Chartholder. Laurent Leconte, co-founder and CTO, has previous experience with Orange Cloud and Moonshot Insurance. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique with a degree in Engineering and obtained an Executive MBA from ESCP Europe.

Why we're excited to invest

While Susu does not compete with insurance providers, it acts as a cost-efficient distribution channel for them. Its care bundles are meant to complement insurance and provide preventative and managed care services not offered by insurance companies.

“We are proud to back team Susu and to fuel its expansion to four new countries. We believe in their mission to make quality care accessible and affordable for those struggling with ​​chronic diseases and to deepen insurance penetration in Francophone Africa. We are very excited about their unique way of involving family members in the diaspora in the care journey of a close family member, be it by paying for insurance or care bundles,” said Diego Arias Garcia, Plug and Play Africa Ventures Associate.

It is estimated that the African healthcare market will be worth €259 billion by 2030. Africa will present 14% of health and well-being business opportunities, and only second to North America holds 21% of the opportunities. Currently, there are 19 million adults in Africa with diabetes, estimated to grow to 47 million people by 2045. The number of births registered in Africa amounted to 43.71 million in 2020; the number of births on the continent grew annually from 2000 and is projected to increase further to nearly 47 million by 2026.

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