Malaysia-based Naluri bags $1.5m pre-Series A funding, eyes regional expansion

Naluri co-founders: (L-R) Azran Osman-Rani, medical doctors Dr. Hariyati Shahrima and Dr. Jeremy Ting. Photo: Naluri

Malaysia-based digital health startup Naluri on Thursday announced that it has closed a $1.5 million pre-Series A funding round led by German venture capital firm Global Founders Capital.

In a statement, Naluri said the round is joined by Stanford-StartX Fund, TH Capital, private investors that include doctors as well as the startup’s existing investors.

The startup has exceeded its initial fundraising target of $1 million by 50 per cent due to increased investor interest and demand after Naluri became the first Malaysian startup to be accepted into the StartX’s founder community’s spring 2019 cohort.

Naluri plans to continue to grow aggressively over the next 12 months and launch its Series A round in 2020 to expand its user base and to form more partnerships with leading insurers, corporate employers, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical companies.

It last raised a 1 million ringgit ($242,800) seed funding from Singapore-based healthcare analytics firm BioMark and Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups last January.

Founded in mid-2017 by former CEO of iflix and AirAsia X Bhd Azran Osman-Rani, medical doctors Dr. Jeremy Ting and Dr. Hariyati Shahrima, Naluri focuses on digital health therapeutics that combines behaviour science, data science, and digital design to provide structured health coaching and psychological support for users who are at risk of or managing chronic diseases.

The fresh capital from the pre-Series A round will be used to make senior business development hires and start teams in overseas markets, according to Ting.

“After encouraging results from our first year of operations, which saw about 60 per cent of our users achieve at least one clinically-significant health improvement that reduces the risks of diabetes or heart diseases by 30-50 per cent , and our core clients continuing to extend their partnership with us into Phase 2 roll-outs, we have started work to extend our service to larger markets across Southeast Asia,” he said.

Naluri claims to be the pioneer in the field of digital therapeutics in Southeast Asia, which delivers evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients or those at risk of diseases, using software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease.

“Current healthcare services and wellness programmes do not provide enough on-going support outside of the hospital or clinic, or are only focused on transactional, one-off consultation sessions.

“They tend to track activities such as steps or calorie counting, and not on clinically-significant health outcomes such as weight reduction, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol reduction, or quantifiable improvements in levels of depression, anxiety, and stress,” said Azran.