Fire1’s $25m round heads up latest digital health financings

Nattanan Kanchanaprat

A series of fundraising rounds this week in the digital health sector is led by a $25 million round for remote monitoring company Fire1, with Maribel Health, HelloSelf, Protai, and Iktos also getting a fresh cash injection.

Dublin, Ireland headquartered Fire1 said the new round, which was led by new investors Andera Partners and Novo Holdings, would accelerate the development of its remote monitoring technology for heart failure patients, an implantable device that recently started clinical testing in the UK.

The device is implanted into the largest vein in the body (the inferior vena cava) and is designed to give off an alert whenever there is a deterioration in a heart failure patient’s condition by monitoring the size of the IVC, a biomarker for levels of fluid in the body. It is paired with a wearable belt that gathers the data and sends it for review by healthcare staff.

The round also included existing backers Gilde Healthcare, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Lightstone Ventures, Gimv, Medtronic, and Seventure Partners.

Maribel Health of New Hampshire in the US also raised $25 million in a Series A that will be used to further develop its care-at-home platform, which is generating software to reduce the amount of time patients need to spend attending hospital appointments.

The round was led by venture capital firm General Catalyst, which also served as the incubator for the start-up and its work on the applications needed to manage the clinical workflows and logistics of providing care safely and effectively in the home and community.

The financing round was accompanied by two new partnerships for Maribel, with two health systems – St Louis-based Mercy Health System and New Jersey’s Bayada Home Health Care – focused on the development of hospital-at-home technologies.

UK-based HelloSelf raised approximately $20 million in Series B funding for its digital therapy approach for people to take control of their mental health, in a round led by Octopus Ventures and joined by Omers, Mantaray, and Oxford Capital.

The HelloSelf platform can be used to create personalised psychological self-care plans for its members, who are matched with psychologists and cognitive behavioural therapists, and also features self-help activities and record-keeping to track their progress. The new cash will be used to expand its therapist network in the UK and Europe.

AI-based drug discovery

Turning to the drug discovery sector, Paris, France-based Iktos completed a first round that brought in aproximately $16.5 million that will be used to expand its artificial intelligence-powered platform for medicinal chemistry and new drug design, and help to launch Iktos Robotics, an AI-driven automated end-to-end drug discovery service.

The company said it will also expand its application of solutions to biological products, allowing it to offer fully integrated drug discovery services to the pharma industry. The round was led by M Ventures and Debiopharm Innovation Fund, with participation from Omnes Capital.

Finally, Israel’s Protai added another $12 million to its seed round – bringing the total to $20 million – which will be used to build an oncology pipeline utilising its AI powered proteomics platform.

The round included existing investors Grove Ventures and Pitango HealthTech, and was joined by Copenhagen-based Maj Invest Equity Fund.

Protai’s platform uses AI to map the course of a disease on a protein level, helping to predict which patients may respond to a given drug, as well as to discover novel drug targets that may have been missed by genomic approaches.

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay