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London VC Draper Esprit leads $17.5M Series A in hypertension health-tech startup Aktiia

London-based Draper Esprit is a leading venture capital firm investing in and developing high growth technology businesses. Today, the VC firm has announced that it has pumped in $17.5 million (nearly £12.8 million) in a Series A funding round in hypertension health-tech firm Aktiia.

Expansion plans

Additional Investors that participated in the investment round include 415 Capital, Redalpine Venture Partners, Verve Ventures and Silicon Valley-Based Translink Capital. The additional investment will be used to expand Aktiia’s commercial footprint in the NHS and key healthcare markets across Europe and to build out a team focusing on the healthcare channel.

A part of the investment will go towards obtaining FDA clearance to enable expansion to the US market, following Aktiia’s reception of the CE Mark as a Class IIa medical device in Europe, signifying that the device has been assessed to meet high safety, health and environmental protection requirements.

Mike Kisch, CEO, Aktiia said: “At Aktiia, we believe the key to improving cardiovascular health is to provide patients and physicians a deeper understanding of their blood pressure pattern. Before Aktiia, it was not possible to do this at scale. We are excited about expanding access to this technology and the positive impact it can have on reducing major adverse cardiovascular events.”

Dr Inga Deakin, principal, Draper Esprit said: “A key opportunity for healthtech now is to help people with long-term conditions live healthier lives with fewer complications. Technology that enables better management of these conditions reduces mortality, hospital admissions, and ultimately reduces healthcare related costs. With personalised monitoring of their condition, patients and healthcare providers can cooperate to improve outcomes.

Professor Melvin Lobo, NHS Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Blood Pressure Clinic said: “I believe we are only scratching the surface of the possible applications for the long-term 24/7 blood pressure data that Aktiia is uniquely capable of providing to physicians. This is an indisputable game changer in enabling a better understanding of our patients’ blood pressure patterns and how to treat them on a personalized basis.”

Automates optical blood pressure monitoring

Founded in 2018 in Switzerland by Mattia Bertschi and Josep Solà, Aktiia has also announced that it is an official partner of the International Society of Hypertension and the World Heart Foundation. Both its high patient engagement and rigorous clinical validation enable a strong base of trust and credibility with physicians and industry partners.

Aktiia’s automated Optical Blood Pressure Monitoring System for 24/7 use at the wrist is the first available on the market with accelerating sales growth in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy. Aktiia’s solution has gained tens of thousands of users across Europe since launching in Spring 2021.

The wearable conveniently and comfortably gathers data throughout the day, providing comprehensive insights to better inform the diagnosis and management of hypertension—which affects approximately 1.28 billion adults worldwide and remains a leading cause of premature death. The data is then visualised in a free companion app, which allows a digital summary to be easily shared with physicians or family members.

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