Today, Swedish medtech startup Flow Neuroscience, developer of a medically approved transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) device and behavioural therapy app for depression, has raised over €7.9 million in Series A funding. The oversubscribed round was led by Khosla Ventures, CSS group through Swiss Health Ventures and Zühlke Ventures.
The fresh capital will support the development of Flow’s depression treatment to be more patient-specific. It will also accelerate the development of non-pharmaceutical self-managed solutions for other mental health disorders, such as anxiety.
Flow plans expansion after its success in treating patients across the UK and EU for the past two years, with its headset that delivers gentle stimulation using the tDCS technique to combat depression. The new funding round will allow the company to strengthen its offering to the European market, as well as preparing for US market entry through clinical trials and FDA approval.
Founded in 2016 by clinical psychologist Daniel Månsson, and neuroscientist Erik Rehn, the Malmö-based startup aims to fill the treatment gap between medication and therapy, with the Flow headset solution, being a drug-free and medically approved, at-home tDCS depression treatment.
Looking to the future, Flow aims to increase its reach and accessibility to ultimately cure and manage mental health disorders. By providing a digital and remote device, Flow is developing research into the effects of tDCS on depression, without reliance on in-clinic participation.
Daniel Månsson, clinical psychologist and co-founder of Flow Neuroscience, explains: “With accessibility at the forefront, we have a three-fold mission at Flow over the coming years; to advance our current treatment to be more patient-specific and to treat more people suffering from depression; To accelerate our collaboration with healthcare systems to provide alternative options for clinicians to prescribe and a complementary solution to reduce waiting times; And, to work in collaboration with researchers in the field of tDCS to validate further self-managed treatment solutions for a wider range of mental health disorders, such as anxiety.”
Led by Khosla Ventures, CSS Group through Swiss Health Ventures and Zühlke Ventures, the round was also joined by Kirin Holdings through Kiring health innovation fund led by Global Brain, a top venture capital based in Japan, SOSV’s HAX, as well as the leading San Francisco based patent firm Schox.
Michael Rieger, Head Innovation Operations & Portfolio at CSS GroupCSS Group comments: “Flow offers completely new ways of treating clinical depression by applying a technology that has not been available to the general public until now. CSS is investing in Flow so as to grant patients access to this therapy approach and thus to close a gap in the healthcare system.”
Dr Patrick Griss, Executive Partner at Zühlke, adds: “We look for truly disruptive technologies that drive positive change in the world and with Flow we’ve found that. A treatment that addresses the negative side effects seen with antidepressants and that allows autonomy in how patients can treat their health conditions, is something we are passionate to develop further.”
Alexander Morgan, MD PhD, Partner at Khosla says: “We are happy to see continued progress with Flow’s medication-free treatment for depression and to reaffirm our commitment to the next stages of global expansion together. Bringing this portable, self-managed treatment to US patients will create a scalable, accessible solution to support the millions of people living with depression. The Flow approach can be adjunctive to other forms of therapy and can be an option for those who have not responded to other forms of treatment. We believe everyone in the world should have access to personalized, data-driven therapies. Flow is also empowering to users, as it provides substantial convenience and privacy; people can use it at home at times of their own choosing.”