March 11, 2024

11 digital therapeutics startups to watch, according to VCs

Which startups have the best shot at navigating the choppy landscape?

Funding for digital therapeutics startups fell to its lowest levels since 2015 last year, according to Dealroom, as investor confidence in the sector evaporated amid a wider pullback from digital health.

High-profile failures like US-based one-time-unicorn Pear Therapeutics, slower than expected adoption and a challenging sales environment across the Atlantic have all meant the positive mood music caused by the Covid-driven shift to remote has changed its tune.

European startups in the sector raised just $66.4m last year — way short of the record $466m picked up in 2021. 


But despite VC nerves, a number of investors are still keeping a watchful eye on startups building app- and digital-based therapies for physical and mental health conditions. 

Sifted spoke to VCs from Creandum, HV Capital, Earlybird and Eight Roads to find out which non-portfolio startups they think have the best shot at navigating the choppy digital therapeutics landscape.

Gemma Bloemen, investor, Creandum

Creandum is a European early stage VC, backing startups in Europe and the US.

Aware — Germany

Founded in 2021, Aware wants to identify chronic diseases before they become a real problem. It does so by offering users blood tests as a subscription — which cost €179 a year and include two blood draws at a lab. Aware then creates a report looking at 44 biomarkers, analysing areas like heart, kidney, liver and blood health and flagging areas of concern.

Isla Health — UK

Isla is a platform for clinicians and patients to capture and securely share images, videos and records. The information can be used to easily see progression of a condition over time and offer remote follow-ups.

Vira Health — UK

Vira Health is a platform for personalised menopause care. Its app, Stella, provides clinical and behavioural care, specifically tailored to the symptoms of the user. Menopause impacts half of the population but still remains under-discussed and under-treated. Vira ensures every woman gets the right care by analysing her specific symptoms and over 90 clinical data points, providing her with personalised medical care, advice on lifestyle and support.

Visible — UK

Visible is an illness tracker. It combines a wearable heart rate monitor and app to receive personalised pacing insights on overall health levels by tracking energy levels and illnesses, and understanding how an activity affects the user. Every day the app gives users a rating from an energy standpoint, so they can plan their day accordingly. Visible is one of the few apps that focuses on tracking chronic illnesses, so there is a huge opportunity in the market. 

Laura Seifert, investor, HV Capital

HV Capital is a multi-stage German VC.

Flow Neuroscience — Sweden

Mental health apps constitute the largest share of digital health app (DiGA) prescriptions in Germany and continue to hold immense potential. Flow has built a wearable headset which directs electrical signals into a user's brain to treat symptoms of depression. According to a clinical study, the technology is twice as effective as antidepressants. 

Vantis — Germany

Vantis is a remote healthcare platform for chronic cardiovascular diseases, with a particular focus on coronary artery disease and hypertension. Vantis integrates in-person and at-home treatments, strategically surmounting prescription bottlenecks, and giving it a significant market opportunity within the dynamic landscape of digital therapeutics.

Perfood — Germany

Perfood builds software for healthcare providers in the personalised nutrition space. Its core mission revolves around the treatment and prevention of diseases through dietary measures, reinforced by cutting-edge digital solutions. Perfood leverages extensive datasets encompassing glucose levels, gut microbiome insights, nutritional profiles, activity levels, sleep patterns and medical data.

Dermanostic — Germany

Dermanostic is an appointment booking app for patients with dermatological conditions. It collaborates with a network of over 300 established dermatologists in Germany. 


Michael Treskow, partner, Eight Roads

Eight Roads is a London-based VC, typically focusing on deals at Series A and above

Kranus — Germany

Kranus provides digital treatments for urology. It started with a digital therapeutic for erectile dysfunction, but more recently launched a product focused on bladder disorders and is working on expanding to further conditions. It reaches patients via direct marketing and selling directly to doctors, and is available as a DIGA — meaning doctors can prescribe the app to patients and the state foots the bill.

Kaia Health — Germany

Kaia Health is an app focused on helping patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for employees missing work, which is why the company started its go-to-market via employers before expanding to health plans and providers. 

Christoph Massner, principal, Earlybird

Earlybird is a German-based fund with a focus on pre-seed to Series A companies across Europe.

Closed Loop Medicine — UK

Closed Loop Medicine is developing software therapy products designed to optimise prescription drug dosage and provide personalised therapies to patients. Unoptimised drug dosing leads to dose-dependent side effects, adversely affecting patient outcomes and contributing to non-adherence to prescribed treatments. It will initially focus on chronic conditions such as insomnia and hypertension where it has received positive data from pilot studies and validation from co-development agreements with pharma companies.

Kai Nicol-Schwarz

Kai Nicol-Schwarz is a reporter at Sifted. He covers UK tech and healthtech, and can be found on X and LinkedIn