Posted on March 19, 2020 by staff

Addiction therapy tech firm closes $11m round


A firm offering personalised digital therapeutic solution for addictions has announced the raise of $11m in Series A funding.

Quit Genius raise the funds in a round led by European early-stage investor Octopus Ventures and participation from Y Combinator, Startup Health and Triple Point Ventures.

It follows a $2.6m seed round from Serena Ventures, an early stage investment firm founded by tennis star Serena Williams, among others including her sister Venus.

Quit Genius offers an alternative to ‘telephonic’ cessation support with a personalised digital program including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), expert coaching, a connected breath sensor and access to medication.

It claims the digital-first approach has led to industry-leading quit rates, validated in six peer-reviewed papers and the largest randomised-controlled trial for a digital addiction program soon to be published.

The firm was founded by three doctors trained at Imperial College London, whose initial focus was tackling tobacco and vaping use. It claims the programme has delivered a 53% quit rate for its users, almost triple the 15% quit rate achieved by traditional telephonic intervention, and 3% when going cold turkey.

Quit Genius is already supporting the delivery of stop smoking services at a number of NHS trusts across the UK.

The $11 million investment will support the company’s plans to expand its therapeutic programs beyond cigarette and vaping addiction to include alcohol and substance abuse, as well as increase its presence in the US.

At present, Quit Genius works predominantly with self-insured employers and health plans on a ‘fees-at-risk’ model, where charges are based on success rate.

The company already reaches over 700,000 enrolled participants globally, working with enterprise clients across the US, Canada and the UK.

Yusuf Sherwani, CEO and Co-founder of Quit Genius, said: “Since our last funding round 18 months ago, Quit Genius has grown rapidly. Our customer base increase ten-fold, we have demonstrated industry-leading quit rates and expanded our product offering to vaping cessation.”

“Employers are tired of the status quo and the broken incentives that exist in a traditional “fee-for-service” model of healthcare. By turning this model on its head and charging for value-delivered, we are fast becoming the #1 digital therapeutic program for addictions in the employer space.”

Will Gibbs, Early-Stage Investor at Octopus Ventures, added: “Quit Genius joins our growing health portfolio at Octopus, now more than 10 companies strong, alongside the likes of Elvie and Big Health. We are hugely excited about the potential to build global businesses in this space, and this investment is another step towards our ambition to become the top health investor in Europe.”