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Fri, Apr 16, 2021

SA’s LocumBase Secures Funding For Expansion

LocumBase, the independent online platform that brings medical practices and locum practitioners together through a simplified locum booking process, has secured funding from E ² Investments and Jozi Angels.

Zulé Vuuren, LocumBase founder and Chief Energy Officer, says that as a market-first the platform is in a constant state of evolution as it aims to meet the needs of South Africa’s medical fraternity.

“A product and service like LocumBase has not been done before on the African continent. There was a lot of learning to do before our product could address the needs of the market, which is why we initially released a prototype while researching how users interact. We have learnt from that phase and have now released the first scalable commercial version of LocumBase.com in V3.”

According to Vuuren, technology is the bridge used to address the disconnect between locums and practices that have traditionally been filled by slow and expensive traditional recruiters.

“We understand that this direct link creates a stronger sense of accountability among both locums and practices in the process. We also noted that there is a need for more support to individuals in terms of access to training and resources, which is why we are growing LocumBase into a supportive ecosystem that supports freelance healthcare workers and medical practices as the world of work changes.”

Funding for V3 was secured through additional bridge investment, which Vuuren says adds immeasurable value to the business. Local angel investors Jozi Angels, and E Squared join existing investors supporting the growth of this market-first platform business.

“We are entering the scaling phase of the business and need not only the financial backing to grow, but also the mentorship of industry professionals. Founders Factory Africa, one of our earlier backers, for example, was instrumental in the build of version 3. They play a hands-on role and provide incredible support, while the financing and support from Jozi Angels and E Squared enable us to get V3 to the wider market.”

In 2018, LocumBase initially took on investment from two of South Africa’s most prolific financiers in Michael Jordaan’s Montegray Capital and Justin Clarke’s Powerforce Ventures.

In 2020, LocumBase joined Founders Factory Africa, who along with being an accelerator, also invested into the business. In addition, the startup joined Grindstone XL, one of South Africa’s top accelerator programmes in August.

“There are so many who believe in this platform and the need it is addressing. We are offering more than just a great idea, LocumBase is addressing a very obvious need within the medical sector. One that has come under the spotlight this year especially,” says Vuuren.

She says that the company’s roadmap also extends into a scaling journey with Grindstone XL, where LocumBase aims to support more corporate medical bodies; partner with medical associations and scale throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“Beyond this, we are looking to expand the technology platform to address other sectors with similar short-term time commitment requirements. We understand the value of managing the freelance process of short-term assignments seamlessly. Our platform technology can expand to address this in the new world of work in a fair and responsible way,” says Vuuren.

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