Jude, a bladder health startup, has raised a £3.4 million seed round as it targets the US market.

It is also expanding its services to support healthy ageing and improved bladder health from symptoms to solution, with access to healthcare services, supplements and medication.

With 2.3 billion people globally impacted by bladder issues, incontinence has a market size bigger than that of diabetes, and bigger than menopause, erectile dysfunction and endometriosis combined.  

Jude has set out to improve the entire clinical pathway in this vast market where there are limited solutions available for patients – from diagnosis and treatment to accessible services and the availability of medication without debilitating side effects. 

Since its launch in January 2022, Jude has served 16,000 customers. It has brought to market innovative products including a new natural treatment for lower urinary tract issues that reduces incontinence, being prescribed by doctors to patients across Europe; launched a support hotline and has worked with Southampton University Hospital, West Suffolk NHS trust, London Menopause Clinic. 

With its digital subscription services, Jude will deliver a holistic treatment based on a personalised consultation, right to customers’ doorstep. 

The seed round is led by Eka VC and Joyance, follow-on investment from June Angelides at Samos VC and also includes Dr Fiona Pathiraja of Crista Galli Ventures. Jude has also received a grant from Innovate UK.

The fundraise will see Jude launch into the US, through retail at the end of the year and via direct-to-consumer at the beginning of 2024. The company will further expand its range of products and services to launch symptom tracking, prescriptions and advance research into the underserved area of nutrition and urinary health.

Founder Peony Li, who was previously head of investments at Founders Factory and head of operations at Daye, suffered from chronic bladder infections from a young age which was consistently ignored.

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“Since launch, we’ve improved the lives of tens of thousands of people suffering from bladder issues with treatments and education tools. It’s become clear throughout this time that beyond this, our customers need improved clinical pathways and reliable, accessible solutions,” she said.

“We know women’s health suffers from chronic underfunding and a lack of research, there’s little medication and not enough training for healthcare professionals in bladder health specifically. We want to make the entire journey – from symptom to solution – better for people with poor bladder health. 

“This investment will be critical in us achieving this mission, and expanding our services to the US, where 75m people struggle with these issues. I’m incredibly happy to welcome Eka Ventures and Joyance – who are aligned on our healthcare mission – and to continue our partnership with Samos VC.”

Camilla Dolan of Eka Ventures said: “We have been consistently impressed with Peony’s vision and the deep appreciation she has for building out a brand underpinned by a strong and supportive community and understanding the needs of the consumer. 

“The size of the commercial opportunity is enormous. There is currently no scaled player that provides a holistic solution to prevention, treatment and management of incontinence and prostate related issues or a scaled player focused on healthy ageing.”

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