Cara, a Berlin-based “poop tech” startup, helps you to find out what’s good for your tummy. The young company just closed a $2 million seed financing round to launch the first precision medicine solution for digestive health. The lead investor for the seed round is the Berlin-based VC firm Atlantic Labs which invested along with a group of business angels.
Cara (HiDoc Technologies) was founded in 2015 and launched in 2016 with the aim to help people with chronic digestive disorders. More than 20% of the world’s population suffer from the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), reflux and food intolerances. What most of these people have in common, is that they receive conventional onesize-fits-all treatments which only work in some cases or might be ineffective. Sometimes they even cause unnecessary side effects. One-size-fits-all solutions fail because everyone responds differently to the treatments, due to differences in the individual gut microbial fingerprint, lifestyle and environmental factors. Hence, precision medicine is needed to make treatment more effective, reduce side effects and nonresponder rates. Last but not least, it will also save costs.
The team of medical doctors and data scientists at Cara talked to hundreds of patients to figure out the best solution. Together with experts in the field of gastroenterology, some of which have joined the scientific advisory board, they started to understand what is missing in the current system. They launched the food and symptom diary Cara, an app that allows people to track their nutrition, symptoms and other factors like medication and activity. It also provides analysis and actionable insights which empower the user to understand their own body and regain controll.
Cara is now already one of the best rated food and symptom diaries. In June 2017, Cara was featured on the App Store in Canada, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway in ‘Hot this week’ and ‘New apps we love’. Currently, Cara is featured on the App Store homepage in the US, Canada and the Netherlands.
During the last few months, the team have been preparing to bring Cara to the next level. Cara will match the right digestive remedies to the right patient by combining microbiome insights with AI and treatment response data.
André Sommer, medical co-founder at Cara, stated: “Cara was not the first food and symptom diary, but we realized that it is absolutely necessary to make it really easy to use. So we focused on a great user experience from the very beginning, and listened to our users every day.”
Jesaja Brinkmann, also medical cofounder at Cara, commented: “Poop tech is the next big thing. Digestive issues are still a taboo topic but we are now making them visible to the public. Digestive diseases are widespread. There are so many people out there suffering from bloating, diarrhea, constipation or stomach pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many health practitioners are not up to date with the state-of-the-art treatment options. Also, conventional treatments don’t work for everyone. None of our competitors combine the patient’s individual microbial, lifestyle, environmental and treatment response data as well as predictive treatment outcome algorithms which are needed to learn and offer individualized and appropriate digestive remedies for microbiome optimization and symptom reduction.”
For more info about HiDoc and the company’s Cara app, watch the pitch video below: