Healthtech/News/

Meet the healthtech removing the stigma around men’s sexual health

London-based Numan is part of a growing trend of men’s health startups tapping into a humble — but expanding — sector.

By Riddhi Kanetkar

Numan's founder Sokratis Papafloratos

London-based digital health startup Numan has just announced a $40m Series B — the largest raise in the space of men’s health in Europe to date. 

The round brings Numan’s total funding up to $53m, following its $13m Series A in October 2020. Other notable raises in the — currently modest — men’s health or mentech industry are London-based Manual’s $30m Series A in March 2021, and Munich-based Spring’s undisclosed seed round in February 2019.  

Investors are hoping that European startups can replicate the success of their US peers in men’s health such as Hims & Hers. The men’s wellness brand was publicly listed in January this year, following its unicorn valuation of €1.5bn. The company also acquired UK-based Honest Health, a hair loss brand, in June this year, in a bid to expand into Europe. 

Numan’s latest round was led by White Star Capital, with existing investors Novator, VNV Global, Anthemis Exponential and Colle Capital, and new investor Hanwha Dream Fund participating. 

The company, founded in 2018, offers a digital subscription service for healthcare treatments for users to treat men’s health issues, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, hair loss, gut and lung health and nutritional deficiencies.

Its digital services not only aim to mitigate any feelings of shame that users may feel — by providing a sense of privacy — but have also had a practical advantage during Covid-19. Amidst Europe’s pandemic-fuelled healthtech boom this year, funding into the holistic sector reached an all-time high of €9.8bn in 2021 up from 8.1bn in 2020. 

“We’re seeing a big change in attitudes towards men’s health, and we’re one of the companies driving that change.”

“The pandemic has been a factor [in mentech’s growth], as it’s accelerated digital adoption across industries. More importantly though, we’re seeing a big change in attitudes towards men’s health, and we’re one of the companies driving that change,” Numan tells Sifted. 

According to a recent survey, the frequency of consultations with GPs in the EU was higher for women than for men. “Men aren’t seeking the healthcare they need,” says Numan. “Unfortunately, these statistics aren’t as jarring as they should be – we somehow accept them as the way things are.”

The startup wants to tackle the embarrassment that men can feel about talking about their health and seeking help for conditions, such as erectile dysfunction and hair loss, that may otherwise be seen as taboo. Its goal is to expand its services to become a “complete health partner for men”, by offering “complementary existing health services” in therapeutic areas that affect men. 

In a bid to do so, Numan acquired Sweden’s Vi-Health, an AI platform that provides symptom checkers and remote consultations, in March 2021. “Vi-Health is an exceptional company and was the perfect fit for us in terms of vision, IP and skills,” Numan tells Sifted. “Its technology and IP will help us get there faster.” 

Following this acquisition, Numan “brought onboard a pharmacy partner”. Now, although no specific decision has been made as to where, “international expansion is very much within [its] plans.

Riddhi Kanetkar is an editorial intern at Sifted. She tweets from @r1ddhi.

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