US impact investor Gray Matters Capital has invested up “to $250 000” in Ghanaian medical diagnostics startup Redbird Health Tech. Gray Matters Capital announced the investment — which was conducted through its GMC coLABS portfolio.

Quao founded the Accra-based startup with Patrick Beattie last year. The company provides pharmacies and chemists with on-site rapid test technology used in diagnosing chronic and acute conditions. The company was one of three winners selected at last week’s DEMO Africa innovation tour Accra pitch event.

The startup, which currently has partnerships with two pharmacies in the Accra region, will use the investment to scale to 30 additional community pharmacies over the next three months.

“With the investment from GMC coLABS as well as their expertise in helping organisations like ours to scale-up, we’ll be able to expand our customer base in Accra and beyond,” said Beattie.

Quao added that the investment would also be used to improve the startup’s product offering and IT infrastructure.

Gray Matters Capital said in the same statement that its coLABS portfolio seeks to invest in “innovative and scalable for-profit enterprises that have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of women and girls around the world”.

The firm stated that Redbird’s “potential to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and maternal mortality, along with improving access to diagnostic services, drove the investment decision”

Gray Matters Capital’s investment into Redbird marks the impact investor’s second investment in Africa. Last year the firm invested in solar kiosk micro-franchise startup African Renewal Energy Distributor (ARED).

Jennifer Soltis, portfolio manager at GMC coLABS, said the firm was “encouraged by the talent of the African social entrepreneurs we’re meeting who are working on overcoming critical barriers affecting women with their innovative solutions”.

“We look forward to deepening our portfolio’s presence on the continent and will look to allocate a greater percentage of our committed $5-million to social enterprises in Africa over the coming three years,” said Soltis.

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