Quit Genius has raised a further $11 million in a Series A funding round, led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Y Combinator, Startup Health and Triple Point Ventures.
The new financing builds on the $2.6 million seed round that drew investment from Serena Ventures, an early stage investment firm founded by tennis star, Serena Williams, amongst others including her sister, Venus Williams.
Combining technology with healthcare, Quit Genius replaces telephonic cessation support with a personalised digital programme that includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), expert coaching, a connected breath sensor and easy to access medication.
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, which is currently experiencing an opioid “epidemic”.
Quit Genius was founded by three medical doctors trained at Imperial College London, during which time they identified the problem of preventable deaths caused by smoking.
This ultimately led to the initial focus on tackling tobacco and vaping use, where its evidence-based programme has delivered a 53% quit rate for its users.
Quit Genius is already supporting the delivery of stop smoking services at a number of NHS trusts across the UK.
Yusuf Sherwani, chief executive and co-founder of Quit Genius, commented: “Since our last funding round 18 months ago, Quit Genius has grown rapidly. Our customer base increased ten-fold, we have demonstrated industry-leading quit rates and expanded our product offering to vaping cessation.”
Will Gibbs, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: “When it comes to addiction, far too many people are still dying from deaths that are potentially avoidable. That’s why the personalised digital approach taken by Quit Genius is so exciting, as it is far more effective at changing behaviours and will ultimately save lives. It’s already doing this with smokers, but we believe there is a huge opportunity to tackle other addictive behaviours that can be just as hard to kick.”
He 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.”
Date published: March 19, 2020