Cera, Europe’s largest provider of digital-first home healthcare, has raised $320m (£260m) to fund a massive expansion programme.

The company, which operates in the UK and Germany, delivers care, nursing, telehealth and prescription delivery services in the home supported by technology, which is around 10-fold more affordable than a patient receiving care in hospital.

The successful raise cements Cera’s place as the top player in Europe’s digital-first home healthcare market and one of Europe’s fastest growing companies.

Cera has scaled rapidly, achieving 100-fold growth in under three years and currently services 15,000 patients per day – the bed capacity equivalent to more than 40 NHS hospitals.

The new capital will be used to increase the number of patients in Cera’s care to approaching 100,000 by 2025 and help keep elderly patients out of hospital.

The funding round was led by Cera’s existing investor Kairos HQ, alongside the Vanderbilt University Endowment, Evolve Healthcare Partners alongside Schroders Capital, Jane Street Capital, Yabeo Capital, Squarepoint Capital, Guinness Asset Management, Oltre Impact, 8090 Partners, technology investor Robin Klein and several other international institutional investors.

Launched in 2016 by Dr Ben Maruthappu MBE, Cera has almost 10,000 employees across the UK and Germany, and holds over 300 contracts with the NHS and local governments.

HealthTech Cera Care recruiting 10,000 staff

Its advisory board is chaired by Sir David Behan, the former CEO of the Care Quality Commission. Cera’s technology is also used by over 2,000 care businesses that collectively deliver over 1 million at-home appointments per week.

On the fundraise, Dr Maruthappu said: “Since Cera’s launch in November 2016 the company has scaled at an unprecedented rate for the sector, benefiting countless lives, and proving the need for technology-powered improvement in healthcare.

“Receiving such significant financial backing during this period of global economic volatility, is testament to the strength of Cera’s business model, our innovation, and our commitment to revolutionising healthcare. We’re now in pole position to be able to use our unique technology to expand what we do for patients across the world who are in need of care, while relieving pressures on public services.

The funding comes against a backdrop of growing NHS hospital waiting lists

Cera begins global expansion with German launch

Tim Creed, head of private equity investments of Schroders Capital, said: “Ageing populations, post-pandemic recovery and major staff shortages have created a series of issues facing healthcare providers and governments.

“Cera’s proposition is proven to deliver results to face down these challenges. Cera’s digital-first home healthcare is a unique offering that we believe must be rolled out far and wide to provide a tangible solution to hospital waiting times, building a bigger carer workforce and to help our elderly communities to receive quality, genuine care.”