The new company raised EUR 3.3 million in growth funding. Its product is a blood glucose monitoring application that combines with an Libre sensor that is glued to the arm.
Last In recent years, many Finnish people with type 1 diabetes have had a Libre blood sugar sensor in their arms. It helps with insulin delivery and makes it easy to monitor blood sugar levels in real time with the phone app.
But what if you are not diabetic? Is it still helpful to measure your blood sugar?
The recent Finnish startup Human Engineering Health claims that it is. It has integrated the Libre market with its own Blood mobile app, which it has designed to monitor blood sugar in non-diabetics.
The company also wants healthy consumers interested in their diet and well-being to monitor their blood sugar balance. The goal is, among other things, to prevent type 2 diabetes. However, the first to be interested in the new technology have been enthusiasts of self-measurement, i.e. biohackers and other pioneers.
The company was founded only in 2020 and is still in the early stages of commercializing its product. There have been 2,000 customers so far, and now during the summer it will begin deliveries to those on the waiting list in the United States.
Growth In support of this, the startup now raised EUR 3.3 million in capital funding. Investors include ProFounders in London, Accel in the US, Lifeline Ventures in Finland, and health technology serial entrepreneurs such as the founder of the Swedish growth company Kry Johannes Schildt and the founder of the Finnish Meru Health Kristian Ranta.
Accel in the United States is involved in its angel fund. In the model, large funds empower their local contacts to look for promising start-ups, and make small investments with these angel investors. It will give them a foothold in subsequent rounds of funding.
“Johannes Schildt first invested in us himself and introduced us to Accel,” CEO of Veri Startup Anttoni Aniebonam says.
Kry, founded by Schildt, raised funding of € 262 million in April, with Accel as one investor.
Blood sugar continuous monitoring is a growing trend internationally, for which large technology companies also use product development resources. For example, the Fitbit wristband and Garmin smartwatch already have a feature that allows you to track your blood sugar. However, they require the user to take the blood sample themselves traditionally from the fingertip with a device that then sends the data to the application.
The market is growing also an increase in the number of diabetics.
Also technology giant Apple is said to be bringing the feature to its next smart watch. Apple is partnering with Rocley Fotonics in the UK. It develops an optical sensor that could also measure blood sugar from the skin.
“We are looking forward to it too. As technology evolves, measuring blood sugar will become a low-threshold metric for the general public. Of course, the competition will increase significantly, ”says Aniebonam.
For example, the US company Supersapiens, which also uses the same Libre sensors, competes directly with the Finnish company Veri. It works with Garmin, meaning data can be tracked with its smart watch. As the name implies, the target group of Supersapiens is athletes interested in improving their performance and optimizing their diet.
Blood, on the other hand, strives to reach a wider user base, and the company’s communications focus on themes such as diabetes prevention and preventive health care. Its scientific advisor includes a number of physicians, including a professor from the U.S. Diabetes Association. Guillermo Umpierrez.
“We are focused on a better understanding of diet. Blood sugar is an objective measure of how food affects the body, ”says Aniebonam.
According to him, the dietary guidelines in the Blood app are based on nutritional research data on the prevention of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
The company now has 14 employees, and with the funding, it aims to double its headcount during the year and hire a marketing team in the United States.
Blood sells sensors and application usage at a price where in a continuous order model, one sensor per month costs 89 euros and two sensors 149 euros. In Finland, sensors are not otherwise sold directly to consumers at all, but first-type diabetics receive them through public health care with a doctor’s referral.
In the U.S., a consumer can’t buy sensors without a doctor’s prescription, so there the company works with doctors who can also prescribe sensors for non-diabetics.
“It is estimated that there will be more than 470 million diabetics in the world by 2030. We want to be changing this course, ”says Aniebonam.
However, it is not an application approved for medical use, so it should not make any assessment based on blood sugar, for example, of the development of diabetes.
When, for example, in Finland, not even all type 1 diabetics receive sensors funded by healthcare, is it right that Veri sells equipment to healthy people?
“Abbot in itself has not had any difficulty in manufacturing sensors, meaning there is no shortage of them. Rather, it is a matter of municipal resources and therefore not available to all diabetics. We think municipalities should pay for sensors for all diabetics, ”Aniebonam commented.