Interswitch, a leading electronic payments company in Nigeria, has acquired eClat, a local e-health startup. The deal signals an intention by Interswitch to expand beyond its traditional focus on financial technology.
The deal, announced earlier this week, sees Interswitch take a 60% stake in the healthcare startup by subscribing to new shares issued by the company, as well as purchases from its current shareholders.
In a press release made available to news outlets, Interswitch said that the deal had been completed on September 30.
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Launched in 2012, eClat provides tech-driven solutions to health care providers that help them design, build, and execute their plans. It helps these establishments with electronic health recording platforms, solar power, tech hardware, and IT support they need to operate in their local environments.
The startup has become a key player in the budding e-health space, with its electronic health record product used by several public and private hospitals across the country.
In his comments about the deal, Mitchel Elegbe, the founder and CEO of Interswitch, stressed his company’s interest in the development of the wider technology ecosystem in Africa. He said that its new majority stake in eClat was a way of getting involved with critical sectors aiding growth on the continent.
“We are a technology company that is innovating to deliver value across sectors that are critical to Africa’s social and economic development,” Mr. Elegbe said. “Our acquisition of eClat demonstrates strong progress along with this strategy and alignment with our corporate vision.”
Wale Ogunfere, co-founder and CEO of eClat, noted the increasing adoption of electronic systems by healthcare providers and spoke of his startup’s role in improving this emerging reality. He also said the pact with Interswitch would let eClat leverage the capabilities of the former’s platform to deliver even better service to its clients.
An immediate benefit of this deal will be a simplification of payments for patients of healthcare providers who use these platform’s services.
The foray by Interswitch into e-health may be a reminder of that space’s growth over the past few years. It has become particularly active in that period, as hospitals and clinics have moved to digitize their records and operations to meet the demands of government and private citizens alike.
Founded in 2001, Interswitch is one of Nigeria’s foremost payment platforms. Its solutions enable individuals, banks, telecoms companies, oil and gas firms, and public sector organizations to receive and make payments electronically.
Featured image source: Independent Newspaper
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