Vula (www.vulamobile.com) is a professional medical network, compliant with the Protection of Personal Information Act, which connects health workers in remote and under-served areas to medical and surgical specialists in urban centres. It plays an important role in overcoming the geographic concentration of specialists and increases the quality of healthcare available in rural and underserved communities. Vula has been recognised locally, winning MTN’s Most Innovative App Award, as well as internationally as a top 20 finalist in Amazon’s City on a Cloud Awards. Dr Lungi Nyathi, currently the non-executive chair of Vula, and an executive director at Medscheme, comments: “Government health departments globally face budget constraints, and we feel it more strongly here in Sub-Saharan African. The primary goal of Vula will remain the provision of efficient specialist healthcare access to South Africa’s rural population, and potentially those of other countries.”
Vula was introduced to HAVAÍC in June 2017 by their partner Rob Heath, who stated “I have been following Vula’s path for a few years, and have been impressed with the traction to date, the quality of the company’s product and the international recognition it has received. There is a lot of underlying value that we are looking to maximise, and we were very excited to participate in Vula’s further success.” After 4 months of advisory work Vula and HAVAÍC ran an innovative seed round. The opportunity was made available to existing Vula Mobile partners, users, stakeholders and HAVAÍC partners for a minimum of R5,000 each. This made it affordable for many health workers to invest in Vula Mobile.
The funds from the capital raise enabled the Vula team to work full time. Dr William Mapham, Vula’s Founder, was able to focus on growth within the health sector; Debre Barrett ensured that technical development facilitated the growth; and the rapid increase in the number of users has enabled Will Green to offer attractive partnerships to companies in the medical industry. Vula’s use and impact in the health sector has grown exponentially since the Seed Round with HAVAÍC. Dr Mapham added that “As a start-up we didn’t have the skills to raise capital on our own. The HAVAÍC team’s combined experience in finance, legal and equity sales made the innovative Seed Round possible. I am especially grateful for Rob Heath’s financial modelling and Grant Rock’s legal advice. Given the legal complexities in the health sector it is great that Grant has agreed to join Vula’s board as a non-executive”.