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How we raised £15m for our healthcare startup (what worked for us)

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Delphine Groll – Co-Founder & COO of digital care platform Nabla, reveals how she secured crucial £15m ($17m) funding, and how you can do the same for your business…

In December 2017, just before Christmas, I received an email from a VC friend who wanted me to meet an entrepreneur –  who had just launched and sold his ventures in the US. 

I googled his name, only to find out an article talking about a Chinese mafia leader who’d just been caught. What?! I am not going to this lunch, I thought. 

Regardless, I ended up going, and I’m glad I did, as that meeting was with the now co-founder I work with today. It turned out I’d been a little quick to click on the first search results. Alexandre Lebrun was not in the Chinese mafia at all – though he could be called an AI mafia member. 

While it took time to build the right founding team, raising funds went light-speed for us. We raised money before the current crisis, so I am aware the context has changed a bit…, but here’s what worked for us:

Saying we’ll do the homework (and actually doing it)

It wasn’t just about what we wanted to do, but how far and how much effort we were willing to put into it. 

Healthcare is one of the most complex and regulated industries, and on top of that, none of us had a medical background. 

So, to understand how we could make patient journeys more engaging, we went as far as to launch and run our own digital clinic app for a year and a half (with 30K patients and 30 HCP working with us). 

We poured the feedback and learnings we got from this experience into what today is the tech stack for patient engagement we provide for healthcare organisations. 

Fun-fact about the homework: Turns out the app (which no longer exists today) was named 1° in Personal Development by Google in 2021! (10/10)

Showing something from the future of healthcare

Not with a crystal ball but with machine-learning. While what we wanted to achieve could seem somewhat sci-fi, it was not.

We were building the most advanced machine-learning features for patient engagement and medical operations.

Imagine automatic EHR updates from patient communication, chat, video or audio, and a super co-pilot making next-action suggestions to doctors, or automatic triaging.

These got us some big first “wows”, and a lot of VC excitement.. The journey is 1% done, but we’re so ready for the other 99%.

Of course, the N-team

As a deep-tech venture, we knew as well as our investors that our product was going to take long to build. However, the team behind it left no doubt that, no matter the time, it was going to be a great one.

Our investors saw the potential of the great professionals working on Nabla and the passion of our advisors, among which brilliant minds such as Yann LeCun for AI or Megan Mahoney in healthcare, who encourage us relentlessly and open as many doors as possible for us. 

Delphine Groll – 2022

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