Circleg: affordable prosthetics now available in East Africa

Amputees in low- and middle-income countries in East Africa now have access to inexpensive, stylish, and locally-made prosthetics developed by Zurich-based Circleg. Following several years of development, the startup has entered the commercial phase with 30 amputees already equipped.

Since 2018, Circleg has been on the journey to address the medical challenge in developing countries where several amputees are unable to afford prosthetics and limb systems. Based on a design conceptualized during a bachelor project at the Zurich University of Arts, Circleg developed a prosthetic system of high functional and aesthetic quality, leveraging existing resources – plastic waste. Transforming these plastics into robust, lightweight, high-quality artificial limb components occurs locally in collaboration with Kenyan recycling company Mr. Green Africa, an approach that not only helps reduce the plastic waste problem but also creates jobs for the local communities.

The startup follows a B2B model by selling Circleg prosthetics to private and public hospitals, distributors, NGOs, prosthetic and orthotic centers, and donors who redistribute or sell the prosthetics to amputees in need. The prosthetics are shipped directly by the company’s shipping partners at the Circleg Hub in Nairobi, Kenya.

With the recent market launch of 'Circleg One Prosthetic' (watch campaign video), the startup has opened the market for state-of-the-art prosthetic devices designed to bridge the gap in the healthcare system for amputees and enhance amputees' lives. the company has established partnerships with Cure International, Advantage Africa, Lutein Hospital, and is in advanced talks with the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK), the Ministry of Health and others. So far, 30 amputees in Kenya and Uganda have obtained their prosthetics system. After Kenya, the startup plans to expand distribution to neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda in 2024.

To this end, Circleg has been fully funded through grants from organisations such as the ProVictimis Foundation, Symphasis, Julius Baer Foundation, Eckenstein Foundation, the Gebert Rüf Stiftung, and Ikea Foundation, among others. “We will continue to fund our operations through grants partly but will also raise capital from impact investors starting from Q1 2024. We are currently looking for additional value-aligned interested parties”, said Nicole Colmenares Pulido, co-founder (business & finance) at Circleg.

Image from Circleg