Local healthtech startup Naluri closed a successful Series A round of US$5 million (RM20.58 million) today.
Investors include returning ones like Duopharma Biotech Berhad, Pathology Asia (via Biomark), and VC M Venture Partners, all of whom Naluri previously raised US$1.1 million (RM4.52 million) from in a pre-Series A round. This new round was led by Singapore’s Integra Partners.
New foreign investors joined this round too such as Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia, Palm Drive Capital of New York, and INP Capital of Vancouver (both of which will share their register).
Naluri’s Series A also marks the first time the Malaysian government will match a private capital contribution (dollar-for-dollar) via the Hibiscus Fund, managed by Malaysia’s RHL Ventures and Korea’s KB Investment that forms part of the Dana Penjana National Program.
The healthtech startup will be the first to benefit from this new scheme that’s intended to enable high-growth firms to innovate and scale quickly.
Helping at-risk individuals navigate health
For a refresher, Naluri is an app that combines behaviour science, data science, and digital design as part of its digital therapeutics solution. It’s founded by ex-AirAsia CEO, Azran Osman-Rani.
The app provides professional health and life coaching services, where users can get connected to dietitians, fitness coaches, medical advisers, and more. Other digital tools that the app provides include food journals for you to monitor weight, food intake, and exercises to keep track of your goals and progress.
Users can aim for goals of all sorts like weight loss, lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol, or even better stress management. For individuals, Naluri offers a subscription of RM149.90/month, and companies and organisations can sponsor its services for their teams.
Sharing the light with more ASEAN countries
Like other local startups looking to scale, Naluri is growing its influence regionally. With this funding, it’s planning to expand operations in Singapore and Indonesia, and launch its services in Thailand and the Philippines.
“Malaysia alone has too small of a domestic market. Our choice of markets to open [in] is based on demand from existing regional insurance clients and corporate employers with regional operations, this ensures we do not go into new markets cold, but have existing clients who can provide the initial demand to support setting up operations,” Azran shared with Vulcan Post.
Over in Europe, Naluri plans to invest in clinical research for the purpose of getting digital therapeutics certifications and standards that they can use to help shape the digital therapeutics landscape in Southeast Asia. This will strengthen clinical research in diabetes, renal, cardiovascular, cancer, and mental health therapeutic areas too.
Expansion apart, the fresh funds will go to deepening their tech and data science capabilities to enhance Naluri’s product and predictive algorithms, including its natural language processing, depression detection, as well as device connectivity and patient monitoring.
This tech would enhance health profile trends analysis for the coaches, so they can get better at responding to the right user at the right time, with the right level of support.
Served more than 25,000 users
In 2020, Naluri crossed the US$1 million annual revenue run-rate, tripling its growth from the previous year. As expected, this was due to the accelerated demand for digital health arising from the pandemic.
Dictionary Time: Annual revenue run-rate is a method of projecting upcoming revenue over a longer time period (usually one year) based on previously earned revenue. For example, if your business reported RM15,000 in sales in the last quarter, your annual run-rate would be RM60,000. Run-rate uses current financial data to predict future performance.ProfitWell
“We expect to maintain that same growth rate for this year. To date, Naluri has served more than 25,000 members in the region, growing in tandem with our revenue growth,” Azran told Vulcan Post.
Although Naluri has quadrupled its gross profit margin to over 40% in the past year and expects to keep improving on this margin as its technology improves, Azran added that its net positive operating profit is not expected to be reached for another couple of years.
Featured Image Credit: Azran Osman-Rani, co-founder and CEO of Naluri