New Zealand entrepreneur Anna Mowbray has invested in a healthcare start up hoping to make medical care more accessible.
Auckland-based Health Now enables consumers to split the payment of doctors, dentist and other health services across up to 12 weeks as part of a buy-now pay-later scheme.
The business was founded by 28-year-old Steven Zinsli, and offers other services including a digital wallet for employers to put money in for their workforces' health and a subscription service that enables users to put away money for future treatment.
Mowbray who is the co-founder of global toy giant Zuru has invested in Health Now and now owns a 4.8 per cent stake in the company.
The value of her investment has been kept under wraps.
Health Now launched its pilot in August last year and formally launched in March. It has seen four consecutive months of over 200 per cent growth and Zinsli is gearing up to relocate to the United States at the end of the year to grow the business and its US subsidiary Cover Us Pay.
Zinsli and Mowbray were connected by a mutual friend. Mowbray said Health Now operated in a "really exciting space" and she was immediately taken by Zinsli and his vision to make healthcare more affordable.
Health Now benefited other health businesses, which was another drawcard, she said.
"When you see a founder - and a young founder - that has a bigger cause that is really driving them and then has the motivation to be able to deliver upon that really excites me," Mowbray told the Herald.
"If we can make healthcare more accessible that is only a good thing for the wider community in New Zealand."
According to Health Now, four in every 10 people in New Zealand have neglected their health due to cost-related barriers.
Health Now has three arms to its business with its Employer Aid business, which helps employers to provide health benefits for staff through putting funds into employees' health wallets to use across merchants, alongside its Health Now Pay Later payment service and Health Savers wallet, enabling people to subscribe and pay small contributions in advance to build up funds for any future treatment needed.
Zinsli has been working on Health Now since 2020. Prior to starting the business he studied podiatry and then went on to specialise in osteoarthritis. He had initially wanted to go to med school but instead ended up investing in PhysioConnect, a multi-disciplinary healthcare business which at its largest housed 6 different health disciplines, had 15 sites and 120 staff, which he and his partner scaled rapidly.
Mowbray spent years based overseas in China and Hong Kong building the Zuru Toys business. She spends most of her time focused on expanding Zuru and working on additional spin-off start-ups, alongside business advisory work.
Mowbray is an active advisor in Health Now and will continue to support Health Now's growth. She was unwilling to discuss financials.
Mowbray said she enjoyed advising Zinsli and saw her involvement as "a confidence catalyst" that helps the business to scale faster and achieve globalisation.
"It is amazing to work with a business that is able to make such a massive social impact while also simultaneously being able to generate a strong commercial opportunity."
Health Now has an office in Portland and will soon launch in the American market under the branding of Cover Us Pay, following the acquisition of a subscription discount prescription business Cover Us, which has 52,000 pharmacies on its books.