Sleepio creator Big Health raises $12M to help millions with digital medicine

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Digital health company Big Health today announced a new funding round of $12 million led by Octopus Ventures with Kaiser Permanente Ventures, returning investor Index Ventures, as well as Sean Duffy (CEO, Omada Health) and JamJar Investments. They join existing investors Esther Dyson and Peter Read. We first introduced you to Big Health in 2014, when they raised $3.3 million.

Co-founded by Peter Hames and Professor Colin Espie in 2010, Big Health is a pioneer in “digital medicine.” By automating evidence-based, non-drug solutions like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Big Health is making them as scalable and accessible as pharmaceuticals. The young company is based in London and San Francisco.

Big Health’s first product, Sleepio, is a digital sleep improvement program which helps users overcome poor sleep, and in the process improve their mental health and wellbeing. In the world’s first placebo-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) for a digital sleep program, Sleepio was shown to be comparable in effect to in-person CBT, with 76% of insomnia sufferers achieving healthy sleep (Espie, 2012), and in a separate study shown to be effective in helping anxiety sufferers reduce their symptoms (Pillai, 2015).

Big Health works with some of the world’s leading employers to improve the sleep and mental health of their employees. After its first year in the US market, Big Health’s Sleepio is already deployed to over 750,000 employees at companies including Comcast, LinkedIn, Boston Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System amongst others.

Peter Hames, co-founder and CEO of Big Health, stated: “This new investment allows us to push on towards our goal of helping millions back to good mental health, by growing the number of companies we work with and evolving our products to help address an ever-wider range of mental health issues. But we’ll only achieve this goal – and firmly establish a new “digital medicine” industry – by remaining committed to evidence-based solutions that deliver real outcomes for users.”

For more info about Big Health’s first product Sleepio, check out the video below: