09 Jul Telehealth Startups Seeing Increasing Attention from Investors
New rounds of venture capital have increasingly been turning their sights toward the promising market of telehealth startups that are changing the healthcare landscape and contributing positively to delivery of care and medications as well as mental health.
Recently, Swedish tele-health startup Kry closed a $66 million Series B funding round from Idex Ventures. Kry’s current model is pay-per-use video health consultations with doctors. In addition to a video consultation with a quality healthcare professional, patients must also input their symptoms into the app and write a description of them, uploading relevant photos and answering questions about those symptoms. Through video calls, patients can get prescriptions, advice, and specialist referrals. The service even delivers lab and home tests to the patient’s home, which brings a certain recollection of the days when doctors made house calls, all with a twenty-first century spin. Kry’s Series B funding goes toward their market expansion from its existing market in Sweden, Norway, and Spain, and into the UK and France.
Meanwhile, Amazon just purchased pharmacy startup PillPack, which is an entirely online pharmacy, for reportedly around $1 billion. PillPack had reportedly been in talks with Walmart until Amazon came along offering to pay a higher price tag. The pharmacy company was last valued in 2016 at $361 million, so the threefold increase has seen interest spike. The acquisition shows Amazon’s desire to move more into the digital healthcare space — particularly after their joint healthcare venture with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. The acquisition sent market shares of other pharmacy companies tumbling, as they say. Currently, PillPack has a license to operate in all 50 U.S. states, and promisingly, the software it’s built on is used for medication management that manages patient data and helps balance their medications.
It isn’t just the healthcare and medication delivery fields gaining momentum, either. Mental health and meditation apps are also seeing increasing attention from venture capital, as is the case with startup 10% Happier. If you’ve ever been tempted to roll your eyes at a friend or professional who’s recommended meditation to you, 10% Happier is made with you in mind, and they just received a $3.7 million round of funding. The app is tailored toward meditation skeptics. As TechCrunch explains, “The company sees the quality of its courses as a big differentiator with rivals, but so is its tone.” In fact, that tone — using humor and “no bs” while still acknowledging emotional turmoil — is a large part of its success. The company hopes to branch out to platforms beyond mobile, as well, for now will focus on adding talent to its content team. The news combined only shows that investors who ignore healthcare startups do so to their detriment as more and more of the market moves into the digital realm.