Big data startup Zenysis Technologies has raised $13.3 million in a Series B funding round led by Steel Foundation for Hope, a non-profit organization aimed at finding and providing funding for some of “humanity’s hardest challenges.”
Back in 2016, the startup raised $2.8 million in seed funding and went on to raise $5.8 million in a Series A funding round that took place in 2018.
Headquartered in San Francisco and Cape Town, Zenysis Technologies was founded in 2016 by Jonathan Stambolis with the aim of improving how developing countries respond to humanitarian emergency situations and also helping revamp the public health system.
Founder Jonathan Stambolis was once a diplomat with the United Nations where he was involved with representing Australia in international negotiations on global health and humanitarian affairs. He worked as an advisor to the UN secretary-general on general health and pandemic preparedness.
His job at the UN opened his eyes to daily struggles that countries, especially developing ones, were faced with in regard to global health targets. According to him, money and political will were the ingredients behind the UN’s formula for achieving global health targets and something was missing… “What I saw after a while was a missing pillar there, and that was technology innovation,” he said.
He also added that it was quite obvious that more developed ecosystems such as Silicon Valley were hardly concerned with regions that struggled with their local health and development targets. Hence Zenysis had to be born. Founder Jonathan Stambolis decided to take some of Silicon Valley’s talents and resources and try to solve the problem.
“Watching the world struggle to respond to the crisis at first made it clear that neither affected countries nor their international partners like the U.S. had the software to respond to that outbreak effectively. And I realized that if we didn’t build the software, to help them do that, nobody else was going to do it,” he said quoting the Ebola crisis in 2014.
Zenysis’ mission, according to founder and CEO Jonathan Stambolis, is to provide software that will aid governments in their fight against disease outbreaks, help deal with emergencies on a large scale and also provide equitable and efficient healthcare to citizens.
The big data startup’s software is currently being offered to governments and partners in nine countries across Africa, Asia, and South America. CEO and founder Jonathan Stambolis says the most challenging and rewarding work has been in Africa.
With the newly raised funds, Zenysis plans to expand over the next two years with a significant focus on increasing its presence across Africa. It will also invest in strategic partnerships that will be beneficial to its technology and talent development. “We’re also going to be making investments to help the countries understand and respond to the complex relationship between climate change and human health. This is still an area that is very much in its infancy. So, we want to be at the forefront of helping countries get on top of that in a data-driven way,” the startup’s CEO said.
In a statement, the chief executive at the lead investor SFFH Joe Exner said that its investment in the big data startup will allow Zenysis Technologies to “focus on its core mission of developing the innovative capabilities needed to strengthen health systems and prevent future pandemics.”