Today (Wednesday), Israeli startup Hello Heart announced the raising of $45 million in Series C funding. The round was led by one of the more interesting private equity investors, IVP, alongside the Israeli company’s existing backers: Maven, BlueRun, Khosla, and Resolute.
This is not IVP’s first rodeo, the U.S.-based venture capital fund has previously led rounds for some of the biggest names in tech, including Netflix, Lime, Kayak, Indiegogo, Giphy, GitHub, Dropbox, Discord, Coinbase, Twitter, Uber, Supercell, Snap, Slack, Robinhood, and the list goes on. Straight to the leading Israeli startups in which IVP has previously invested, including a couple Unicorns named Compass and Papaya Global.
Tripled revenue in 2020
Hello Heart has developed a handheld device that monitors a patient of heart problems’ pulse and blood pressure, among other vitals. The device transmits the data to an app, where users can be alerted to high blood pressure or irregular heartbeats - catalysts of heart attacks, strokes, or death. The system then sends the patient to their doctor for further insight into their condition, as well as a customized plan to help improve their health.
The company operates in a B2B2C model, meaning its customers are major enterprises which purchase subscriptions for their employees or U.S. insurance payors, which offer the app as a service for their customers.
According to the company, 2020 was a pretty hearty year for Hello Heart, which tripled its revenue. Another positive, according to the company, was a joint Harvard and UCLA study, which showed that 70% of Hello Heart users were able to lower their blood pressure twice as much as during the last Peer-Review clinical study.
While chatting with Geektime, CTO and CISO Michal Gutman explained that the company intends to add an ECG machine to its product suite: “By using the ECG data, joined by the hundreds of other data points from each user, we can not only alert to cardiologic events in real-time, but actually leverage our machine learning algorithms to detect them before they occur.”
Over 100 offers, but the chemistry decided in the end
It’s hard to ignore the IVP investment factor here, which was previously reserved for billion dollar companies like Compass and Papaya. Hello Heart CEO, Maayan Cohen tells Geektime that the company had received over 100 investment offers from various venture funds. “IVP contacted us through one of our investors after we had tenders from leading VCs already in hand, but the chemistry with them was significantly better,” she recalls. The fact that IVP scales companies quickly for long-term growth (enough to glance at their portfolio companies), “made the decision really easy.”
Cohen tells Geektime that part of the company’s success comes from doing company culture a bit differently. “The company barely has any rules. Everyone can make business decisions, regardless of their title.” Among other freedoms, employees decide how many vacation days they want to use and when, and the cherry on top is that employees can use company funds to cover their needs. But before you start imagining low level employees pulling up to work in Teslas, Cohen does mention that “it’s expected of each employee to make independent and just decisions for the companies’ financials.”
Cohen notes that the company is attempting to avoid organizational politics, and claims that the responsibility and independence given to the employees leads to creativity, innovation, and helps check off projects from the list. Hello Heart (formerly, Hello Doctor) was founded in 2013 by Maayan Cohen, Eran Keisar, and Ziv Meltzer, and has almost 90 employees, split between the U.S. and the Israeli R&D center.