Healthtech startup launches with £575,000 investment to end type 2 diabetes

Habitual, the UK’s first fully digital diabetes prevention and reversal programme, has today announced a raise of £325,000 in funding, taking its total to £575,000, to support its public launch in 2021.

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Habitual was founded by Dr Ian Braithwaite and Napala Pratini in September 2019 after they met delivering diabetes reversal programmes for the NHS. It was then that they realised the potential to completely transform how we think about diabetes and other related diseases.

Their three-part programme was built in collaboration with specialists from Harvard Medical School, the University of Cambridge, and Stanford University and focuses on total diet replacement, personalised habit-change, and ongoing support to achieve sustained disease reversal and long-term weight maintenance.

Investors include European seed fund Seedcamp, as well as MMC Ventures, one of London’s top series A funds. This followed investment of £250,000 from various angel investors; including Roger Hassan, the COO at Tier Mobility and Stephen Bourke, the co-founder of Echo Pharmacy, which was acquired by McKesson in 2019.

With five million people expected to be diagnosed with diabetes in the UK by 2025 and the NHS spending £315 every second on type 2 diabetes, Habitual is on a mission to revolutionise the way we manage type 2 diabetes, aiming to reverse the condition for millions of people through it’s entirely digitally programme.

Research has shown that type 2 diabetes is reversible in the majority of patients, but this fact has largely been overlooked, with healthcare systems hooked on more traditional pharmaceutical interventions such as pills and injections. Habitual wants to radically change this approach by combining digital therapeutics with a nutritionally-complete food product, an unprecedented combination of two clinically-validated tools that holds the potential to prevent and reverse lifestyle disease across the globe.

Speaking on the investment, CEO and co-founder Dr. Ian Braithwaite said: “While working as a doctor, I saw firsthand the devastating complications of type 2 diabetes – from strokes to heart attacks to blindness. For the majority of patients, pills are not solving the problem. We now have strong clinical evidence that remission can be the goal for most patients. Sadly, with the NHS at a breaking point, it is not in a place to deliver intensive remission programs to the 4.2 million type 2 diabetics in the UK.

“We started Habitual, the first solely digital diabetes remission program, to scale this research to anyone who needs it, no matter where or who they are. We are already seeing astounding results, with all patients stopping or reducing their medications and on their way towards living diabetes-free. This fundraise, from two of London’s top early stage funds, is about more than growth capital—it validates strong investor conviction around moving healthcare systems towards a completely new paradigm for diabetes treatment”

Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Managing Partner, from Seedcamp, who led the round, added: “Empowering patients to take their health into their own hands is the holy grail of medicine, particularly when it comes to diseases like type 2 diabetes. We backed the Habitual team because we believe in their vision of not just preventing, but also reversing, chronic disease by putting patients at the centre of the healthcare ecosystem. With experience in medicine, research, and start-ups, the founding team is ideally placed to be a key part of transforming the future of healthcare.”

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