Digital diabetes and chronic care company OneDrop has landed $40 million in a Series B funding round led by pharma giant Bayer. This news coincides with the announcement that Bayer inked a deal with the startup, entering into a commercial licensing agreement to use OneDrop’s platform.
This isn’t Bayer’s first foray into digital health. The company has its own accelerator in Germany that was founded in 2014, and then went on to launch a US accelerator to focus on the self-care market in 2017. Additionally, the pharma company has sought out partnerships with digital companies before. In May it teamed up with AI technology company Sensyme Health to develop a national linked patient data capability in the UK.
The company has developed products on its own as well, including an FDA cleared connected autoinjector for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis medication and companion app, called myBetaApp.
Also part of the funding news, Bayer Pharmaceutical President Stefan Oelrich will be joining the board of directors at One Drop.
"As part of our strategy to shape the future of healthcare and build new businesses in digital health, we are investing in integrated digital solutions to improve health outcomes through data driven solutions," Oelrich said in a statement. "This collaboration allows us to obtain access to a world leading self-care platform for disease management beyond the boundaries of medicines with strong artificial intelligence-driven capabilities that could lead to better healthcare outcomes for people with chronic conditions."
WHAT THEY DO
OneDrop uses artificial intelligence to make lifestyle recommendations to people with chronic conditions. Customers can purchase a Bluetooth-connected glucose meter, which will link up with an app. Via this app, customers are connected to management plans and coaching.
WHAT IT’S FOR
While the company didn’t spell out exactly how they will be using the $40 million, its deal with Bayer includes helping the pharma build up its digital efforts in oncology, cardiovascular diseases and women’s health.
It would be hard to talk about diabetes management companies without mentioning Livongo, the chronic care company that went public this summer. While IPOs have been rare in digital health Livongo experienced early success with a first day closing 36% above its initial pricing.
ON THE RECORD
"With today's global digital infrastructure, there should be nothing that prevents us from delivering quality care to everyone who needs it. One Drop is leveraging this infrastructure to provide evidence-based, hyper-personalized diabetes support to millions of people each day," Jeff Dachis, OneDrop founder and CEO, said in a statement. "As a new investor and commercial partner, Bayer is validating One Drop's superior user experience, modular and extensible product offering, and ability to bring affordable, accessible healthcare to millions of people worldwide."