Medisafe raises $14.5M, announces European expansion

By Jonah Comstock

Medication adherence startup MediSafe has raised $14.5 million in a round led by Octopus Ventures and M Ventures (the venture arm of Merck Pharmaceuticals), with participation from existing investors Pitango Venture Capital, 7wire ventures, lool Ventures, TriVentures and Qualcomm Ventures. The company also announced that it will begin expanding into Europe using some of the funds. 

"We’re expanding into Europe because we are seeing significant demand, particularly on the pharma side," VP of Marketing and Business Development Jon Michaeli told MobiHealthNews. "The payer models and others will take time to emerge, but with pharma we are seeing significant demands out of Europe, so it made sense for us to expand our business there."

Medisafe's core offering is a cloud-based app system for medication adherence. Patients using MediSafe get a reminder to take their meds on their Android or iPhone app, and are then prompted to record doses when they take them. If they don’t indicate that they’ve taken their meds, friends and family members are informed and can then take action. Over time the company has added other features to the platform, including optional connected pillboxes and pill caps.

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While Medisafe's app is patient-facing, the company actually sells its platform to all major stakeholders: pharma, payers, and providers, Michaeli told MobiHealthNews. Providers are the newest group for them, and their recent integration with Epic and Cerner around drug interactions, announced at HIMSS, is aimed at expanding that market.

"We have collaborations with pharma where there’s a direct ROI story," Michaeli said. "The more patients are taking their medications, the higher their adherence will be versus without Medisafe, and that results in higher script sales and ultimately more revenues for those companies, in addition to achieving a lot of other objectives including differentiation. We’re also working with payers and the model there varies; it’s not as much one size fits all. But payers have great value in data, in targeting patients who are at risk and have certain challegnes like accessibility to healthcare, by providing them covered benefits like free rides to the hospital or the pharmacy or free delivery of their medications to the home. Medisafe can be the front end delivering some solutions to the patient in our feed."

Michaeli couldn't disclose pharma partners but said it included top 10 companies as well as smaller pharmas. He said it's the success of these various commercial markets that's led the company to raise additional funds and focus on growth. In addition to the European expansion, some of the funds will go to hiring more engineers in the company's Israel-based R&D labs, to accelerate a planned pipeline of new features.

"We are in our path of building a holistic, robust solution that works for consumers," Michaeli said. "And I think that’s the key. It’s not just adding features and functionalities, but making them accessible in a way that’s intuitive and requires little work and effort on their behalf."