Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund portfolio company HealthUnlocked has successfully completed a £1.5m funding round.
Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, comments: “We are delighted to show continued support to founders, Jorge Armanet and Dr Matt Jameson Evans, and the whole HealthUnlocked team. Since our initial investment back in April 2015, HealthUnlocked have doubled their number of members, with 500,000 now signed up to the platform, resulting in an impressive 40 million hits per year. With the company recently being named as a Deloitte UK Fast 50 2016 Winner we believe that this funding round will enable them to continue their rapid growth in the Healthcare market.”
Read more here: HealthUnlocked Secures £1.5m Funding
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Social Network for Health Receives Investment to Support International Growth
A health focused social network, which helps people connect through online communities dedicated to specific medical conditions, has raised £825,000 in its latest funding round.
The equity investment, which has come from several angel investors together with £125,000 from the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund, managed by The FSE Group, will be used to invest further in the product, advance technological development and increase revenue streams.
HealthUnlocked provides an online setting where individuals affected by various medicals conditions can link up with others sharing the same experiences, along with associated support groups and healthcare professionals. The site was launched in the UK and Europe in 2010 and in the US last summer and has grown quickly during that time with many leading medical organisations – including the NHS – charities and advocacy groups, choosing to operate their community forums from the platform. It now has over 250,000 registered members communicating across more than 500 peer-to-peer communities and figures for January alone showed over 2.5 million users visiting the site.
The HealthUnlocked team has developed a highly sophisticated AI based platform to underpin the site. The ‘HealthGraph’ focuses on medical terminology across language and usage barriers to identify connections across content and users.
Data extracted from discussion posts within the communities such as how often members with a specific condition also report other symptoms, whether a community is discussing a specific drug, what treatment members of a specific community recommend, can be extremely valuable to medical research efforts. The system allows even anecdotal conversations to become evidence to inform studies.
Jorge Armanet, HealthUnlocked CEO and co-founder, says: “The majority of our users are highly invested in the communities they are members of, often personally affected by the medical conditions concerned. As a result, almost 70% of registered users want to participate in research. This means that, amongst other things, we can identify and select clinical trial subjects according to specific criteria, quickly and accurately. Indeed, in a recent trial for a major pharmaceutical company we were able to present a pre-screened cohort, which by their usual methods took six months, in only three days.”
Furthermore, HealthUnlocked is developing applications for better management of individual patient care, in conjunction with specialist healthcare providers. One such application enables patients to communicate with health workers who can then create a personalised care plan. Aggregated information is used by the hospital and healthcare provider to improve care planning. The application is currently being used by over 10,000 patients in 65 NHS and BUPA hospitals.
Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, comments: “The early success of HealthUnlocked as a provider of a niche social network is evident in its rapid growth in users and site visits, along with testimony such as 90% stating their knowledge of treatment options had improved as a consequence. However, the true potential of this complex platform has yet to be utilised. We are excited to be working with the team as they explore its full capacity and work to achieve their ambitions for high growth on a global scale.”
Simon Labahn, Fund Executive at The FSE Group, adds: “With several high-profile angels in the funding round, we’re thrilled to see the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund added to the list of investors backing this innovative company. Completing any deal is a complex process, one which we were grateful on this occasion to have Penelope Garden, Partner at Field Seymour Parkes solicitors, advise us upon.”
The Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund is part of the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £200,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the Coast to Capital region.
For more information about the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/coast-capital-funding-escalator or contact Avent Bezuidenhoudt at firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01276 608526.