Nigerian diagnostics startup Stack Dx has raised of funding from early-stage fund Microtraction to help it expand its market share. The Nigerian early-stage investment fund Microtraction, invests up to US$65,000 in two stages in early stage startups. The investment fund has invested in few Nigerian startups in the last year, including Allpro, Accounteer, Bitkoin Africa, Riby, Thank U Cash, CowryWise, Wallet.ng and now Stack DX.
Founded by Abasi Ene-Obong, Damilola Oni, Francis Osifo and Gatumi Aliyu, Stack Dx has developed an online platform that connects patients and health professionals to genetic tests. The start-up provides genetic testing services in Nigeria both in the clinical setting and directly to consumers at the most affordable prices anywhere on the African continent.
In Nigeria, around 80,000 women die every year from breast cancer, and nearly five million from misdiagnosis of hepatitis diseases. Stack Dx was launched to provide molecular diagnostic services to patients, doctors and hospitals across the African continent.
The start-up also allows health professionals in Nigeria and many African countries, for the first time, to provide targeted treatments to patients and prevent misdiagnosis of diseases. In Nigeria approx. 99% of labs currently do not have genetic testing capabilities; which means that many of these tests such as predictive cancer tests, pharmacogenetic tests and liquid biopsies have not been offered before in Nigeria.
Providing diagnostic services to patients, doctors
and hospitals across the African continent
Microtraction sees opportunity in the emerging molecular diagnostics market in Africa, and estimates that the market size in sub Saharan Africa is approx. USD 14.4bn, of which USD 2.6bn is in Nigeria. Dayo Koleowo, principal investment officer at Microtraction mentioned that molecular diagnostics was a relatively nascent market across most of Sub-Saharan Africa, but had established itself in places such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.
The aim is to replicate this and build a market in Nigeria. “We believe the founders have not only the right mindset but understand the problem deeply and are also well suited to capture the market opportunity,” said Koleowo.
He continued “We invested in Stack Dx because of the quality and ability of the team to execute and solve a genuinely growing problem in Africa. However, as at the time they applied, they had secured a partnership with a key strategic partner, showing their ability to close complex corporate partnerships which gave us even more confidence in backing a pre-launch startup.”