San Francisco-based patient engagement startup Catalia Health has announced an additional $4 million in pre-Series A funding from Ion Pacific and other investors. Building upon previously announced seed funding largely raised from repeat backer Khosla Ventures, the latest round brings Catalia’s total funding to $7.75 million.
Catalia’s flagship product, Mabu, is a tablet built into a sculpted, stylized body that's meant to serve as a personal healthcare companion for patients at home. Particularly designed for elderly patients or those with chronic conditions, the robot has regular conversations via the tablet and adapts to particular behaviors and preferences. It can remind patients to take medications, ask how they are feeling, and contact their caregiver if need be. It can also send them text message reminders during the day.
“We’ve seen great traction since the close of our seed extension, and this additional funding is a great proof point for the platform we’ve developed and will help us more rapidly expand the number of patients who can benefit from interactions with Mabu,” Cory Kidd, CEO and founder of Catalia Health, said in a statement. “Ion Pacific, a leading technology-focused merchant bank, is the ideal partner to lead this round as we increase our global footprint. This Lagniappe, or ‘little extra,’ round on top of our seed funding lets the company move even faster than before.”
According to a statement, Catalia will be using the new funds to expand its operations and support patient roll out, which is scheduled to begin early next year.
“Ion Pacific narrows in on the power of creative and tailored solutions, and believes Catalia Health’s approach to healthcare is well-positioned to improve patient outcomes,” Michael Joseph, Co-CEO of Ion Pacific, said in a statement. “Moreover, there is tremendous interest among our partners in Asia for this type of company, as interest in RAID (Robotics, AI, IoT, Data) technology continues to grow in Asia. We believe there will be continued strong demand for such innovative technology.”
Along with Ion Pacific, participants in the latest round included Khosla Ventures, NewGen Ventures, Abstract Ventures, and individual investor Tony Ling. Of note, this is the second time NewGen Ventures has invested in Catalia, and the third time for Khosla Ventures.
Catalia also announced Charles Wu, a veteran of Facebook and Twitter’s mobile units as its new director of product management. Wu will be overseeing the platform’s roadmap and define current and future requirements for the product, according to the statement.
"I joined Catalia Health because of the promise of helping people, but also because of the opportunity to explore something truly new," Wu told MobiHealthNews. "We have the ability to take real research out of the lab to a broad group of patients — that is going to help people who have never been helped before."