Jerusalem’s biotech scene is a formidable rival to Tel Aviv and other startup ecosystems around the world
With tech giant Philips and hybrid venture capitalist group OurCrowd leading the way, another Jerusalem health startup is celebrating a multimillion dollar Series A right now. Sweetch announced on Thursday that it had raised $3.5 million for its diabetes prediction platform. The round also included Pontifax LP and Lionbird LP.
Sweetch touts a “behavioral analytics engine” that takes user habits and spits back a list of personal recommendations to maintain health. The company claims it can beat the burnout rate for other health-monitoring apps — Sweetch says users tend to drop after six months — by incorporating gamification strategies into their app’s use.
“We are very proud to be trusted by such global and well-known companies,” said Sweetch CEO Dana Chanan. “We have a mission to achieve – make the world a healthier place on a large scale, and this can be done only through the use of smart devices connected with big data analytics and the individual level.”
Research group Visiongain sees a similarly staggering $55.3 billion value on the global diabetics pharmaceutical industry by 2017. The American Diabetes Association in 2012 estimated the disease cost the U.S. economy $245 billion in terms of lost productivity, financial burden, and medical resources.
Market research firm Marketsandmarkets estimates the global mHealth industry will be worth $59.15 billion by 2020. Diabetes-related apps are definitely in that mix. Others on offer include Diabeto and BeatO (I don’t make up the names).
Sweetch is led by CEO Dana Chanan, CTO Dan Lichtenfeld and Chief Medical Officer Yossi Bahagon, MD. They aim to use the funds to complete a pilot program and begin clinical trials. Their press release indicates they are targeting the United States as their major market. Future plans might be to extend it to monitor other diseases, like “hypertension, obesity and metabolic syndrome.”