Biofourmis, a Singapore-based digital therapeutics startup, has raised US$ 100M in its latest Series C round of funding.
About the funding round
The Series C funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Existing investors including Openspace Ventures, MassMutual Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and EDBI also participated in the round.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 is a successor to the Japanese giant’s initial US$ 100B fund. Leading the investment round with a US$ 100M investment, SoftBank Group Corp.’s funding has nearly tripled the valuation of the software startup. The round valued the company at more than US$ 700M compared to the startup’s US$ 250M valuation previously. However, when asked to comment on the valuation of the startup, the company declined the request.
The capital injection will accelerate Biofourmis’ global expansion, advance its digital therapeutics pipeline, and develop additional care pathways. In addition, it will also drive deeper integrations with its health system, hospital, pharmaceutical, and clinical research clients and partners.
Furthermore, the startup will also use the funds to develop and commercialize several released and unreleased digital therapeutics solutions across segments like cardiology, respiratory, and oncology. It will focus on the United States and Asian markets including Asia Pacific, China, and Japan.
According to the company, this funding round marks the largest healthtech fundraising within Southeast Asia to date. Previously, another Singapore biotech firm, Mirxes raised US$ 40M in its series A round in 2018.
Founded in 2015, Biofourmis uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based solutions to enable personalized predictive care. Using a mobile app as a touch point, Biofourmis provides patients with tailored care and drug prescriptions after they are discharged from the hospital.
founded in Singapore, Biofourmis relocated its base to Boston recently. Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO and founder of Biofourmis, said, “The U.S. has been a major market focus since day one. Being closer to customers and attracting the clinical data science pool is critical.”
Statements from Biofourmis and SoftBank
In an interview, Kuldeep Singh Rajput said, “The pandemic really fast-forwarded the need for virtual monitoring of patients remotely at home, and we were able to customize our platform to monitor patients with COVID-19 in five countries. SoftBank had been following this, and in May and June we met up with them and they opened up multiple opportunities.”
Greg Moon, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, commented, “We believe Biofourmis is a leader in using AI and machine learning-based solutions to advance digital therapeutics.”
Updates from previous funding round
Even though Rajput, Biofourmis’ founder, was not planning to raise capital after closing the startup’s US$ 35M Series B round in May 2019, SoftBank contacted him after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The series B round of funding was led by Sequoia Capital India and MassMutual Ventures. Since then, the company has increased its revenue significantly through new partnerships with seven pharmaceutical companies and 10 health systems globally.
Additionally, it has also made major acquisitions during that time. Some of the acquisitions include wearable biosensor developer Biovotion and Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ oncology-focused digital therapeutics company Gaido Health.
In the future, the company aims to develop software-based therapeutics to treat and manage patients with unmet clinical needs. The company claims that the new model could augment drug efficacy, result in better patient outcomes, and also reduce costs.
Rajput said, “COVID-19 is pushing remote monitoring and digital therapeutics to the forefront of medicine. In the last seven months, healthcare has fast-forwarded by at least five years.”
About Biofourmis’ founder
CEO and founder of the healthtech startup, Kuldeep Singh Rajput moved to Singapore to do a PhD. However, in 2015, he dropped out to start the business with co-founder, Wendou Niu. He saw the potential to “predict disease before it happens”.
About SoftBank Vision Fund 2
In 2019, SoftBank announced the capital of Vision Fund 2. The second fund is earmarked to US$ 108B, US $11B above its debut Vision Fund of US$ 97B. The fund is the largest ever recorded in the history of investment funds in the startup ecosystem the world over.
Out of the total US$ 108B, SoftBank invested US$ 38B in Vision Fund 2 making them the largest investor in the fund. The first Vision Fund’s largest investor was Saudi’s Public Investment Fund.
The Vision Fund 2 focuses investments in AI based startups. Considering the vehicle regularly cuts cheques of US$ 100M, this plays a huge role in furthering the research into the AI sector and shortening the timelines before we see driverless cars, drones deliveries, AI disease-detecting machines become commonplace.
As per the announcement, the list of expected investors in Vision Fund 2 include Apple, Foxconn Technology Group, and Microsoft Corporation. In addition, the fund also received investment from Japan’s financial institutions including Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Ltd., The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc. Furthermore, “major participants from Taiwan” also invested in the fund.
About the investors
Openspace Ventures: A venture capital fund in Singapore, Openspace Ventures makes investments in early-stage technology companies based in Southeast Asia. The firm’s typical investments are at Round A or B stage when revenue traction is building and capital is required to drive rapid growth. Their existing portfolio includes B2C and B2B technologies accessing local, regional and global markets.
MassMutual Ventures: It is the investment subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Mass Mutual is a global financial services firm with expertise in data science, insurance, asset management, retirement services, cybersecurity, and IT infrastructure.
The investment subsidiary invests in startups and growth-stage companies that provide differentiated technology solutions . It looks for scalable business models to drive this type of enterprise-level innovation. It enables these companies to navigate the pitfalls of early growth and achieve significant enterprise value by providing access to customers, capital, and operational expertise.
Sequoia Capital: Sequoia is a venture capital that focuses on startups in the field of energy, financial, enterprise, healthcare, internet. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, the firm focuses on the technology industry. It has backed companies that now control $1.4 trillion of combined stock market value.
EDBI: Headquartered in Singapore, the venture capital firm invests to shape the future industries of Singapore in the knowledge and innovation-intensive sectors. This includes Information Technology, Emerging Technology, Healthcare among others
As a value adding investor with over 25 years of investment experience, EDBI supports portfolio companies’ growth in Asia and globally by leveraging our extensive network, resources and experience. Its portfolio companies flourish within Singapore’s dynamic and secure business environment with strong government support. Through its portfolio of globally competitive companies with high-growth potential, they promote the development, expansion and transformation of successful industries to enhance economic growth and create employment opportunities in Singapore.
Biofourmis’s top competitors include Neon Diagnostics, Landauer, Myia Labs, and Regulatory and Quality Solutions.
Neon Diagnostics: Founded in 2011, Neon Diagnostics Ltd is a medical diagnostics company who provide a broad selection of diagnostic tests and systems for the early detection, monitoring, and management of diseases.
Landauer: Founded in 1954, Landauer provides integrated radiation safety products and services, including occupational radiation monitoring backed by market-leading dosimetry technology.
Myia Labs: Founded in 2017, Myia Labs provides an invisible intelligent health platform that monitors and engages patients beyond the clinical setting.
Regulatory & Quality Solutions: Founded in 2008, R&Q helps medical device companies get to market faster and successfully stay on the market so that patient’s lives are improved.
Healthtech in Singapore
Healthtech industry has already drawn hefty investments and plenty of interest in Singapore. In the past year, a large array of healthtech services have surfaced in Singapore. Telehealth apps that connect patients with doctors to systems that use AI to generate insights about certain medical conditions can be seen. The most significant investments in healthtech across APAC (Asia-Pacific) was in Singapore, attracting over US$ 105M. The region’s location and transhipment destination have made it a hub for medtech and healthtech.
Singapore’s healthtech industry is expanding and rising to meet the needs of its consumers. In APAC, the need for better and more cost-effective solutions for consumers is the reason behind the growth of healthtech startups. Biofourmis is a leading healthtech startup that has received funding for its innovative approach with artificial intelligence.
Singapore’s healthtech industry is quickly moving towards the process of getting their healthtech commercialised, launched in other markets, and to relax regulations. Strong collaborations between the private and public sectors have generated innovative ideas.
In Singapore, more and more investments are coming from corporate healthtech partnerships like Johnson & Johnson’s partnership with Holmusk, a digital health startup, and Ark, a cancer detection startup. However, despite these collaborations and Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 allocating US$ 4B for research and development from 2016 to 2020, Singapore still lags behind India and China in healthtech investments.
Julien Salaberry, CEO of Galen Growth Asia, believes that Singapore can make advancements if it focuses on its healthtech industry the way it does for fintech.
Investocracy, a company focused on connecting startups from emerging markets with Japanese investors, produced this article.
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