9 million euros in startups that are shaping the future of healthcare

We are living longer, but not necessarily healthier lives, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). Global life expectancy increased by over 6 years between 2000 and 2019 – from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.4 years in 2019. However, many health challenges remain to ensure people’s quality of life, especially for the most vulnerable groups. That’s why we invest in impact startups shifting the paradigm of healthcare.

“My Health, My Right” is this year’s motto for World Health Day. Maite Fibla, co-founder and managing partner, emphasizes the importance of addressing the remaining challenges if we want to ensure the right to health for everyone, noting that, “despite technological advances and increased healthcare spending globally and in Spain in recent years, multiple barriers still prevent everyone from accessing adequate medical care, particularly the most vulnerable groups.”

In this context, the impact investment manager Ship2B Ventures has allocated over 9 million euros to support 10 innovative startups in the healthcare sector whose main mission is to promote solutions that improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and those with chronic diseases. These investments, made through the BSocial Impact Fund and supported by Banc Sabadell, the European Investment Fund, and Axis, have benefited over 65,000 people.

Healthy ageing

The aging population is a reality we cannot ignore. In 2030, the WHO estimates that one in six people in the world will be 60 years old or older, and the population over 80 will triple by 2050. Companies like Envita are redefining how we approach aging, addressing unwanted loneliness, and empowering older people to live full and meaningful lives in residential centers. They currently collaborate with over 120 elderly care homes.

Another approach is offered by Qida, providing quality and personalized home care services for the elderly, which served over 4,500 families in their homes last year, totaling around 12,000 families served since its foundation in 2018. In 2023, they closed the largest investment round in the senior sector in Spain – 18 million euros – in a round led by Kibo Ventures with the participation of Ship2B Ventures.

Promoting healthy longevity is the mission of Rx Longevity. This startup is comprised of a team of doctors, physiotherapists, developers, designers, biomedical engineers, biologists, and trainers who share the goal of facilitating older people’s purpose and independence through physical, mental, and social habits.

Prevention and early diagnosis

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all cancers in Europe. In Spain alone, 8,000 people die each year due to pancreatic cancer, and the main cause of the high mortality rate is the lack of an early detection method.

Sycai Medical is addressing the urgent need for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with its innovative software, aiming to improve survival rates through faster and more accurate detection. In addition to their program on pancreatic cancer, Sycai is developing two more tools to detect liver and kidney cancer with collaborations in Europe and the United States. In 2023, they achieved fifth place in the European EIT Health Catapult program.

After a motorcycle accident, most of the time the rider cannot make the emergency call or cannot be located, which increases the mortality rate. LiveLink has developed a device that connects to motorcycles with an e-call system that allows emergency services to respond more quickly in the event of an accident. To date, they have intervened in over 12,000 accidents, enabling emergency services to act early and reducing the risk of death or sequelae from accidents.

Doctomatic is using artificial intelligence to improve the prevention and management of chronic diseases, allowing patients and doctors to closely monitor their health and anticipate possible complications.

Winner of the i4KIDS Pediatric Innovation Award from the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, among other awards, The Smart Lollipop is innovating in the field of early detection in childhood. They stand out for their medical device that simulates a smart lollipop capable of detecting biomarkers of different pathologies in saliva for the prevention, diagnosis, and monitoring of diseases.

Improving life with illness and discomfort

Mika is using technology to offer personalized psychological support to cancer patients. Their digital platform provides innovative tools to monitor symptoms and access support resources, improving the quality of life of over 14,000 patients to date.

Galeneo, on the other hand, is revolutionizing healthcare with its e-health platform, providing personalized home hospitalization services available 24 hours a day. With over 200,000 hours of home care assistance provided, they are making a difference in the lives of numerous patients by allowing them to recover at home.

Through their application, Dana supports women during the “matrescence,” known as the physical, mental, and social transformation that women undergo during pregnancy and postpartum. They offer over 500 pregnancy and postpartum content endorsed by the Federation of Associations of Midwives of Spain.