Healthtech/News/

Blood test startup Aware raises $15m seed round

Aware’s seed raise sees it emerge from stealth as it looks to roll out its private beta in Germany

By Kai Nicol-Schwarz

Blood test health-check platform Aware has emerged from stealth with $15m seed financing in the coffers, as it looks to roll out its private beta to patients in Germany.

What does Aware do?

Aware is hoping to be a one-stop shop for patients to get a detailed snapshot of their current health condition, which is put together by analysing a sample of blood drawn at a lab. 

Patients can get their results via an app within 24 hours, and then re-test every three to six months as part of a subscription. The idea is to nip diseases and chronic illness in the bud early by normalising regular testing.

What’s next?

Aware will roll out its private beta product to users in Berlin, and is targeting a broader release by the end of the year. After that, the startup wants to launch in the UK and other markets in Europe. 

Eventually, the startup says it wants to build “Europe’s largest health database for personalised medicine”, with the goal to allow patients to proactively access care pathways tailored to their individual illnesses before they become serious.

Who’s investing in Aware?

  • The seed round was led by Switzerland’s multistage VC Lakestar alongside Berlin-based compatriots Cherry Ventures and June Fund.
  • There was participation from Naren Shaam, founder and CEO of travel company Omio; Lucas von Cranach, CEO and founder of football media platform Onefootball; and Christian Reber, founder and CEO of presentation software startup Pitch
  • The round also featured healthtech TeleClinic founder Katharina Juenger and a number of other angels.

The blood testing market

There’s been a fair amount of scepticism towards startups offering a one-stop shop blood testing service since the Theranos scandal, but a number of European startups have convinced VCs to part with their cash in recent years. Among them are the UK’s Thriva, Lithuania’s Revolab health and Finland’s Nightingale Health. 

Sifted’s take

Heaps of digital health startups have ambitions to move towards this idea of personalised, proactive healthcare at the moment, and creating a data platform that holds an individual’s — and others’ — comprehensive health information underpins most of them. 

A $15m seed round is a sturdy launchpad to spring from, but there are sizeable regulatory barriers Aware will have to navigate next. To access the number of patients it will need to scale — and eventually raise more VC cash — Aware will almost certainly have to look to partner with public healthcare providers in Europe, at some point.

That’s no mean feat, but if it can strike up the right partnerships, it will be on strong footing. Approval onto Germany’s DiGA scheme, for example, has bore fruit for startups like Cara Care and Kranus Health in recent weeks.

Kai Nicol-Schwarz is a reporter at Sifted. He covers healthtech and community reporting, and tweets from @NicolSchwarzK.

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