Voluntis raises $29M to bring diabetes app to US

By Jonah Comstock
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iBGStar Diabetes Manager App iPhone Voluntis's app (not shown here) was one of the first to work with Sanofi's IBGStar connected glucometer.

Paris, France-based Voluntis, a developer of companion apps for medical devices, has raised $29 million in its fourth round of funding. The round was led by Bpifrance Large Venture and international venture capital firm Innovation Capital. Other contributors included Luxemburg-based Vesalius Biocapital and US-based Qualcomm Incorporated, through its venture capital arm, Qualcomm Ventures, as well as existing investors, CapDecisif Management, CM-CIC Capital Innovation, and Sham.

Voluntis is mostly focused on diabetes management software, but it doesn't sell its apps directly to consumers. Instead it works with pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The company, founded in 2001, places a strong focus on clinical trial validations and making software that is prescribable and reimbursable.

"We want to gather more evidence," Voluntis CEO and Founder Pierre Leurent told MobiHealthNews. "It’s absolutely essential in securing longterm coverage from payors. At the end of the day, this is going to make a difference for healthcare professionals and patients, but also the payors. We believe we are among the frontrunners and we also are working to develop a more and more sophisticated system." 

According to Leurent, one of the primary reasons for the large funding raise is to bring Voluntis products, especially flagship product Voluntis Insulin Therapy Manager (VITM), to the United States. Currently offered by Sanofi under the name Diabeo, VITM is a mobile app that monitors, either through connected devices or manual entry, the blood sugar, carbohydrate intake, and physical activity of patients with diabetes. It then uses this data to recommend insulin doses. The information is also sent to the patient's caregiver, allowing the app to double as a remote care manager. The technology has a CE Mark, but is still seeking FDA clearance.

Voluntis is relocating one of its cofounders to a new Boston office, where they will also seek to recruit a US-based team and start forming relationships with medical technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and payers in the United States. Voluntis already does some business in the United States, with its anti-coagulation therapy management software offered through Roche.

Leurent said the other plan for this funding is to continue to develop new products outside of diabetes. He said the company is considering adapting its technology to work with continuous glucose monitoring as well.

"The large pharma and medtech companies, they cannot just sell devices anymore," Leurent said. "They have to engage themselves very much more than that. And we support that engagement."