See the original story in Japanese.
Taiwan-based Health2Sync, the startup behind a diabetes management platform under the same name, announced today that it has secured $6 million US in a series B round. This round was led by Japanese insurance conglomerate Sompo Holdings (TSE:8630) with participation from existing investors: Alibaba and WI Harper. For Health2Sync, this follows their seed round $1.2 million funding from Cherubic Ventures back in June of 2014 and their series A 3 million funding back in August of 2016. During the raising of the series A round, the company participated in the 7th batch of Korea’s SparkLabs global accelerator.
The Health2Sync platform helps diabetes patients to keep track of their blood-sugar level online. Their mobile apps are available in several languages on the iTunes AppStore and Google Play. Integrated with glucose meters from different makers, it aims to reduce the patient’s burden in managing and recording their blood-sugar level by automating the process. The company claims many of their users come from Taiwan followed by Japan and Hong Kong. With more than 10 million diabetes patients domestically, Japan is now ranked the 8th in the population of diabetics. We were told that the team has decided to expand into Japan because the country’s massive governmental policies and funding measures for preventing the disease.
Health2Sync CEO Ed Deng told The Bridge:
In terms of population, it is true that China and India have a larger number of diabetes patients respectively. In such emerging countries, however, people’s awareness still low while their governments are not gungho for funding to disease prevention businesses.
In Japan, the government has gradually facilitated schemes so that diseasse prevention projects and clinical care providers can receive grants or get funds. That is why we decided to expand into the Japanese market.
The funds aforementioned here is not one that the Health2Sync will directly receive but it will be distributed to local municipalities and care providers across Japan by the government, and the Health2sync solution will be able to see more opportunities for use in such a supply chain. The company expects to gain access to potential users through these stakeholders, aiming to help individuals improve their eating habits and maintain their health.
Sompo Holdings has a subsidiary focused on elderly care services called Sompo Care Next. However, Deng told The Bridge that the Japanese insurance conglomerate’s intention with the latest investment is probably inventing a new insurance product through supporting Health2Sync’s roll-out in Japan rather than adopting the solution into elderly people because the platform’s primary end users are aged between 40 to 65.
Health2Sync is also discussing potential partnership with other insurance companies in Japan because the agreement with Sompo Holdings is not an exclusive deal. Because it is offered as a service providing software, Health2Sync will massively explore collaboration opportunities with glucose meter manufacturers that are likely to complement each others, in addition to working with startups in sectors like Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and telemedicine.
The company is setting up a team in Japan consisting of one business developer plus two engineers. With the fresh cash injection, they will strengthen employee hiring for online marketing and other professionals like Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs).
In addition to many CDEs getting older, they are suffering from overwork and chronic shortages of personnel while diabetes patients are increasing but CDEs are not. So what HealthSync wants to solve may include the context of robotics process automation and workstyle reforms in this niche.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy