Founders like to build companies around what they know, and Frank Westermann and Anton Kittelberger know about diabetes.
They met and bonded over having type 1 diabetes (Westermann was diagnosed over 25 years ago) and began the MySugr application for self-management of diabetes in 2012 (won a TC pitch in 2011). Four years later, Westermann moved to the US from Austria to introduce MySugr in the US before the company was acquired by Roche for $ 100 million in 2017.
The couple went on to their next trip, also in diabetes, starting 9 a. M. Health in April, a virtual diabetes clinic designed to give people living with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes access to personalized care and affordable medications from home. The 9 a.m. health clinic opened in August.
Today, the San Diego-based company announced a $ 3.7 million seed round from Founders Fund, Define Ventures, Speedinvest, and iSeed Ventures to target 1 in 3 people living with diabetes in the United StatesWestermann told TechCrunch.
“We understand the daily challenges faced by people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes,” he added. “Access to care is the real issue, and instead of patients waiting weeks for an appointment, we send a test kit to your home and you return it to us.”
9am. Salud started in Texas and California, and is now available in 33 states. You are finding patients through digital outreach, community service, and hospitals.
Even with insurance, the average person living with diabetes spends about $ 16,750 per year in medical expenses and has approximately 2.3 times higher the costs that if they did not have the disease. Instead, patients can subscribe to 9am.health for $ 40 per month; which includes online prescription submission, unlimited personal health care, medications to control diabetes, hypertension or hyperlipidemia, and home lab tests.
Westermann sees other companies working in the diabetes space, but says 9am. Salud is unique in providing “a digital gateway to comprehensive diabetes care,” while others focus on specific pain points. By taking that comprehensive approach, you see an opportunity to move beyond diabetes to the realm of general chronic diseases, as many people living with diabetes (in fact 98% of Americans) also have other comorbidities such as blood pressure. high, high cholesterol and mental health problems, he added. .
The new funding will allow the company to grow its team and forge some of the digital diabetes market share which was valued at $ 13 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow 18.8% annually through 2027. 9am.health will also invest in improving its virtual detection capabilities and expanding the types of drugs it can offer.
“We want to break down the barriers and make care as easy as possible and make diabetes management a part of life,” said Westermann. “When you live with a chronic illness, it is something everyday and sometimes you feel good and other days you don’t. That is why we named the company 9am. Cheers because you can wake up at 9am and start your diabetes journey all over again. “
Lynne Chou O’Keefe, founder and managing partner of Define Ventures, says the future of healthcare will be more consumer-focused and wrapped up in the patient care journey. Consider that 9am.health leads this type of care with a platform that brings together education, community, coaching and direct customer service.
Chou O’Keefe has been investing in healthcare throughout his VC career and served on the Livongo board for four years. Through that experience, he learned how patients struggle with their care decisions and found that the founders of 9am. They have a similar in-depth knowledge and experience of diabetes in health, especially with the success they had with MySugr.
“The last place you should get medical care is in the doctor’s office, while the first place should be wherever you are,” he added. “This is a very different form than what the health system is today. We believe that people want to control their diabetes, but then they go on and live their lives. “