babylon, the UK’s leading digital health service, today announced the development of the world’s most advanced digital platform in healthcare. The platform will deploy the latest gains in artificial intelligence and data analytics to place immediate, comprehensive and affordable healthcare into the hands of everyone. In order to support its growth, babylon has raised approximately a further $25m , the largest series A funding round in European digital healthcare. The financing was led by Investment AB Kinnevik, the Swedish listed entrepreneurial investment group that builds disruptive digital consumer brands.
babylon’s new platform will expand on its existing highly successful digital health service which already covers 250,000 people in the UK to deliver preventative healthcare in addition to sick care. The platform will utilise machine learning to analyse genetics, environment, behaviour and biology, in addition to key body functions to ensure users are staying healthy and provide real time personalised health advice as and when needed. Where medicine is prescribed, the platform will be able to monitor course completion and assess the effectiveness of the treatment, providing an end-to-end service. babylon has already demonstrated a working prototype and will be launched to the public in 2016.
babylon has quickly established itself as a leader in digital personal health by combining deep medical experience with cutting edge technology. Launched to the public in February 2015, the service has already expanded into Ireland and will be launching in East Africa later this year. Nearly 60 businesses - including Citigroup, Sky, and MasterCard - and leading employee benefits and health insurance providers - including Mercer, Bupa and Aviva - have partnered with babylon to offer its services to UK employees. Further, babylon is at an early stage of partnering with the NHS to make its services available to the broader UK population. babylon has received wide industry recognition for its innovative product and services, including featuring in Apple’s list of the best apps in 2015 and receiving ‘Mobile App of the Year’ at the UK IT Industry Awards 2015 and a Lovie award for ‘Health & Fitness.’
The latest financing round was led by Investment AB Kinnevik, the approximately $8bn Swedish listed entrepreneurial investment group. Other participants and supporters are seasoned entrepreneurs and funds that share babylon's mission of democratising healthcare globally. They included the founders of: BXR Group, a multi-billion dollar global investment group; DeepMind, the British artificial intelligence company acquired by Google; Innocent Drinks, the popular smoothie company, as well as Hoxton Ventures, the fund established to bridge European companies to Silicon Valley.
Dr. Ali Parsa, Founder and CEO of babylon commented: “Our mission at babylon is to democratise healthcare globally. In developed countries accessing healthcare is fragmented, inconvenient and expensive, but in the developing world the problems are much more severe; half the population have little access to even the most basic health services. In a modern world, where almost everyone has a mobile, this is fundamentally wrong – everyone, everywhere should have access to healthcare.”
He continued: “The potentials of digital health have come a long way since we launched babylon. We can now do much more than just connecting a patient to a doctor on their mobile. We are building a platform that can significantly augment clinicians' reach, accuracy, analytical powers and scalability. Our platform will provide the technology that can democratise healthcare, by putting an affordable, accessible and personal health service in the hands of everyone. This is something really worth getting excited about. But no mission can come through without the necessary resources and this is why we’re so grateful to all our investors and supporters for giving us the chance to make this dream possible.”
Chris Bischoff, Senior Investment Director of Kinnevik said: “We are delighted to partner with Ali and the team at babylon. Kinnevik has a track-record of identifying, investing in and growing digital consumer-focused companies into sustained global market leaders in sectors undergoing disruption, including telecoms, media and retail. We believe healthcare is a sector where technology will enable the delivery of better services at more affordable prices, both in developed and developing markets. We have been impressed by the initial success of babylon and look forward to building a global leader in digital healthcare over the long-term.”