In a ray of sunshine, healthtech startup Naluri raises US$1.1mil pre-series A round
By Digital News Asia April 24, 2020
- Funding reflects heightened investor interest in digital health amidst pandemic
- Extends its runway for at least 12-15 months, fuels expansion to S’pore, Indonesia
Naluri Hidup Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian MSC-status and an MDEC GAIN company in health technology completed a US$1.1 million (RM5 million) pre-Series A round, led by Duopharma Biotech Bhd, M Venture Partners Pte Ltd from Singapore, RHL Ventures from Kuala Lumpur, and other local and international private investors.
Naluri counts 500 Durians, Global Founders Capital, Stanford-Start X Fund, and BioMark as among its earlier investors and is a Southeast Asian pioneer in the field of digital therapeutics, which delivers evidence-based interventions and support for patients at risk of diseases, using software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease.
Despite a challenging fund-raising climate where most investors prefer to hold back new investments as global economies slow down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Naluri was able to win the confidence of investors who have been actively engaging with the company for the past year, getting to know the founders well and seeing its growth traction.
“We see a trend of digital health moving beyond transactional telehealth consultations, to a different model of sustainable continuous care over longer periods, that delivers quantifiable and clinically-significant health outcomes,” says Mayank Parekh, Founding Partner of M Venture Partners.
“Simply put, we back great people; we are impressed with the founders and remain confident that Azran, Dr. Jeremy and the Naluri team have the background and experience to shape the next generation of digital health solutions.”
Raja Hamzah Abidin, Managing Partner of RHL Ventures commented, “Our investment in Naluri was based on the traction that they achieved working with blue-chip industry leaders in insurance, healthcare providers, large corporate employers, and pharmaceutical players, especially with the Duopharma Biotech partnership, and the international expansion into Indonesia and Singapore.” Naluri expanded to Singapore in January and Indonesia, last month.
He further adds, “RHL Ventures is keen to support Naluri’s further growth by introducing Naluri’s digital health solution to our extensive corporate network”.
Azran Osman-Rani, CEO and cofounder explains, “We focus on the intersection of mental health and chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, and provide affordable and convenient access to structured, professional health coaching by a team of psychologists, dietitians, doctors, fitness coaches, pharmacists, career and financial coaches, who provide behavioural change and psychological support in a holistic manner.”
Not surprisingly he adds that they have seen a significant increase in mental health distress, particularly stress, anxiety and depression, because of the Covid-19 lockdown and isolation. “Many companies have reached out to seek digital employee assistance programmes that provide mental health support for their staff,” he says.
Indeed, the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of preventive health solutions to address risks of diabetes, hypertension, and heart conditions that weakens the immune system and creates greater vulnerability to viral attacks. These chronic lifestyle conditions cannot be solved through a single consultation or a set of medication.
Naluri plans to use the proceeds of this round to extend its runway for at least 12-15 months and position itself for its next Series A round. According to Dr Jeremy Ting, President and cofounder, “We have had a number of strategic and financial investors who have expressed strong interest in the next round, and we want to be able to demonstrate continued growth domestically and regionally, while deepening our track record in our core mental health, diabetes, and heart disease therapeutic areas.”