Venture Beyond
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Venture Beyond

Partnering with Numan to Close the Men’s Health Engagement Gap

By Eric Martineau-Fortin, Nick Stocks, Alex Wilson and Blanche Ajarrista

TL;DR: We’re excited to announce that we are partnering with Numan, leading their $40m Series B round to close the engagement gap in men’s health.

As a society, we have become increasingly proactive with our health. The number of people tracking their health data with wearables has more than doubled since 2013 [1]. Consequently, in line with other services we experience, be it Netflix, Spotify, Deliveroo, Uber or Ocado, we now expect, and should be able to receive, an on-demand, yet personalised, healthcare experience. We can all admit to spending hours trawling through Healthline or WebMD as soon as we notice a problem! However, historically public health organisations have been slow to adopt new and innovative digital solutions which are critical to meeting these demands, despite the growing strain they are under. We are now at the brink of a revolution in healthcare, with telemedicine spearheading the efforts in breaking down these barriers between technology and healthcare, and the COVID-19 pandemic further driving a more health conscious and proactive society. This digitisation of healthcare has long since been at the core of White Star’s investing philosophy, having backing companies such as

Even with this shift, the quality of men’s health continues to suffer. Approximately 1 in 14 men are likely to develop heart disease, and 1 in 8 men have suffered from depression, anxiety, panic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder [2]. 1 in 5 men die before the age of 65, with the biggest cause of death in men being cancer [3].

Despite these egregious statistics, men are simply not as engaged with their health as they should be. So why is this the case?

We can blame generational stereotypes and underlying social stigmas that have shaped the self-perception and identity of men globally for this. It is not that effective solutions are not present in the market, the stumbling block stems from an innate lack of necessity to care for oneself. Men feel the need to de-prioritise themselves, appear “strong”, or “bottle up” their feelings. Other reasons such as a lack of convenience, the financial implications and the emotional burden of “bad news” have all historically kept men away from addressing their health, and we believe this needs to change.

Enter Numan

After various entrepreneurial endeavours, including founding and exiting TrustedPlaces, a local review and recommendation site, to Yell Group, Sokratis Papafloratos founded Numan after becoming fixated on these problems.

Sexual health in particular is one of the largest victims of this, in particular erectile dysfunction. Overall impotence rates have doubled in the past 25 years, with 33% of men under the age of 30 and 40% of men in their 40s-50s experiencing the condition. Sokratis Papafloratos launched Numan in 2018, a digital health platform offering men a safe and convenient space to address their health concerns. The immediacy of sexual health is powerful, and Sokratis saw this as an effective beachhead into the men’s health segment to close the engagement gap; a powerful sledgehammer to tear down this barrier that, for generations, has held back men from caring for themselves in the way that they should. Since launching, Numan has successfully expanded into several areas such as diagnostics, supplements, asthma and gut health with many more to come, including mental health and skincare.

But closing this engagement gap is not just about providing access to these products. These products are already available in the market today, and this is what got us at White Star so excited about Numan. Sokratis’ vision is to build a healthcare platform that develops and offers products and services that gather their strength from the company, rather than simply the product or service themself. In practice, this would resemble a powerful and trustworthy service, which can facilitate various links across these healthcare products and services to provide a holistic end-to-end experience.

Numan’s digital e-health and consultation tools that form the foundation of their platform, provide them with the capabilities to connect with patients in an extraordinary way, enabling them to engage with, understand and diagnose patients on a deeper and more informed level digitally. With this understanding, supported by a strong operational backbone, Numan is then able to offer their patients exactly what they need, when they need it, in a convenient and discrete manner. The Numan motif is to encourage men to take responsibility for their health, and today, they are helping close to 100,000 men to approach their health in a way they never have before.

We are pleased to announce that we have led Numan’s $40m Series B round, alongside Novator, VNV Global, Anthemis and Colle Capital. This is just the start for Numan, and we could not be more excited to support Sokratis and the fantastic team that he has put together to realise their new vision for healthcare.

White Star Capital is a global multi-stage technology investment platform that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, international businesses. Operating out of Guernsey, New York, London, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, our presence, perspective, and people enable us to partner closely with our Founders to help them scale internationally from Series A onwards.

Find out more about how we venture beyond at www.whitestarcapital.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

[1] Blackcreek.io

[2] Men and mental health.

[3] Mental Health Forum

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