Forbes Features 24-Year-Old Kenyan Running Ksh800M US Firm

  • A collage image of Joseph Kitonga, founder of US-based Vitable Health.
    A collage image of Joseph Kitonga, founder of US-based Vitable Health.
  • As Forbes named 2022 top 30 under 30, little known Joseph Kitonga made it to the list because of his lucrative venture in the United States of America (USA).

    The 24-year-old was recognised for his innovation, Vitable Health, a digital platform that seeks to provide health care coverage for millions of US citizens who do not have medical cover.

    Forbes noted that the achievement of the Kenyan software developer was remarkable having dropped from the Pennsylvania State University to set up the business.

    A collage image of Joseph Kitonga, founder of US-based Vitable Health.
    A collage image of Joseph Kitonga, founder of US-based Vitable Health.
    File

    "He dropped out of college to found the platform which gives home health workers and others a primary care-based health insurance plan with virtual and at-home visits with no copays," Forbes stated.

    At a past interview, Kitonga who moved to the US with his family at the age of 13, stated that he was motivated to start the business following the struggles he had seen his family go through.

    Upon arrival to the US, Kitonga's parents started a home care business for the elderly in the US who are often neglected by their families or do not have caregivers. 

    The software engineer also noted that he decided to pursue his dream after noticing an opening in the medical insurance market given the numerous struggles health care workers were facing.

    Despite the remarkable growth of the digital platform, the 24-year-old revealed that the idea of starting the platform arose after he participated in an IT competition in 2018 while still at the US-based institution of higher learning.

    "In fall of 2018, I built the tech product that would enable Vitable, found a lawyer, and applied to Inc.U. I remember going to the taping the next semester, and that was the first week we’d launched.

    "We were doing on-demand urgent care, and quickly it shifted to being an urgent care membership service. Members pay a monthly fee and get access to our network of providers," he stated.

    Through his platform, users are able to book and schedule appointments with medical service providers to ensure they get medication at a convenient time for them.

    His platform caught the interest of investors in 2021 as he received funding worth Ksh822,000,000 to boost his startup.

    The tech company is estimated to grow in the coming years having been valued at Ksh800 million with 19 investors showing interest in the firm.

    Outside his life as a tech guru, Kitonga is a music enthusiast who enjoys playing the guitar and chess.

    A collage image of Joseph Kitonga, founder of US-based Vitable Health receiving an award after an IT competition.
    A collage image of Joseph Kitonga, founder of US-based Vitable Health receiving an award after an IT competition.
    Pennsylvania State University