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Startups We’re Watching: Healthcare

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When investing, your capital is at risk.

The health and wellness space saw significant developments in 2020. 

As governments committed to tackling the virus, health providers in every domain adopted a virtual or hybrid approach to care. 

With the pandemic impacting our mental and physical health, downloads of mental health apps and online fitness services skyrocketed, as private companies and startups raced to respond to the changing needs of their customers, and navigate the evolving landscape of restrictions.

Necessity is very much the mother of invention in startups, and 2020 forced an acceleration toward adoption of healthtech in the mainstream. We’ve never been more excited about what the future holds for health and wellness technologies.

Our campaign development team is constantly on the lookout for promising startups at every stage from seed to pre-IPO. We asked them to share their favourite businesses in Healthtech right now.

The pandemic has put holistic mental wellness into sharp focus as people around the world face lockdown isolation, anxiety and economic stressors. Unicorns Calm and Headspace have created a paradigm shift in mental health, powered by millions of users and the support of influential personalities such as Lebron James, who advocates strongly for the normalisation of mental fitness as well as physical.

This concept that our mental wellbeing should be a constant work in progress as part of a healthy lifestyle is the driving force behind London Based startup MindLabs, which identifies as the Peloton for mental wellness. Although yet to launch, the young startup picked up a heavyweight roster of early-stage funds and high profile angels in its Q4, 2020 funding round, including Passion Capital, Seedcamp, Alex Chesterman (think Zoopla, Lovefilm and Cazoo) and Jack Tang, of Seedrs portfolio company Urban. With a suite of impressive backers and a great mission, I’m excited to see MindLab’s mental wellness platform and community flourish and bring benefits to users everywhere.

Populations around the world are assuming a more proactive role in managing their health, and healthtech startups like Forth are taking advantage of the trend. Forth provides patients with at-home finger prick blood tests allowing them to track and analyse their body’s vital biomarkers, and unlock valuable insights into their wellbeing. During the pandemic, they also began carrying out coronavirus PCR and antibody tests. Backed by the Development Bank of Wales, Forth is now approaching another fundraising round led by leading UK institutions, in which retail investors will also be able to participate.

The digital health market is predicted to maintain its 28.5% compound annual growth over the next five years, and with the total value of the global digital health market sitting at £96.5B in 2020, startups like Forth have huge headroom to acquire market share. Since launch in 2017, Forth has consistently achieved 100% year on year revenue growth with over £2M sales*. I’m looking forward to tracking their growth story over the coming years.

Different bodies from different backgrounds have different needs, meaning a one-size-fits all approach to care doesn’t work. Not only are we seeing more founders from diverse backgrounds in this space, we’re watching them tackle some of the issues faced by underserved markets. For example, Noami Hirabayahi and Marah Lidey founded US-based wellness platform Shine because they didn’t see their communities (Japanese and African American) or their experiences, represented in mainstream wellness. Shine has raised $8.3M to date from investors including Eniac Ventures and Felix Capital.

One startup of interest from a diversity perspective is Alva, which aims to support and treat the 13 million women in the UK currently undergoing menopause. Founded by Annie Coleridge and Phil Efstathiou (both ex-Thriva), Alva provides free at-home consultation, treatments delivered to your doorstep, and a community that extends far beyond medication. While it’s still early days for Alva, after raising £1M in April 2020 from investors including Ascension Ventures and Jamjar, and with an estimated 12% of the entire global population suffering from menopause at any given time, this is certainly one to watch. The global femtech market is set to reach $60B by 2027, and there are a number of early-stage menopause startups in the UK looking to tap into it. I’ll be interested to see which players take the lead in menopause treatment and support.

Mental health is a hot topic right now. As people are stuck inside, it’s been harder and harder to stay positive and prevent anxiety taking over. In addition to the rise of mental health apps, we’re seeing the launch of more and more companies seeking to improve and protect existing NHS infrastructure.

One such business is Seedrs alumni Thalamos – the SaaS platform for psychiatric care – whose robust technology removes the burden of paperwork for practitioners and allows them to provide better care. The startup had a major breakthrough at the end of 2020 with the passing of legislation that digitised the Mental Health Act, enabling users to get more support quicker and more safely than ever before. As the digitalisation of wider healthcare continues it’s rapid advance in the NHS and across the UK, I expect we’ll be seeing plenty of important businesses facilitating this movement – especially in the mental health space – taking Thalamos’ lead.

*Based on unaudited management accounts.

The post Startups We’re Watching: Healthcare appeared first on Seedrs.

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Source: https://www.seedrs.com/learn/blog/investing/trends-insights/startups-were-watching-healthcare

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KeyBank & Laurel Road Unveils Digital Bank Specifically for Doctors

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Laurel Road, a brand of KeyBank, announced earlier this week the launch of Laurel Road for Doctors, a digital bank specifically for physicians and dentists. According to Laurel, the goal of the new digital bank is to help ease the burden for doctors of paying down student debt, finding more balance between work and life, and planning for the future—many of whom have worked tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With Laurel Road for Doctors, Laurel Road and KeyBank expand on its existing suite of tailored digital banking and lending products and extensive experience working directly with doctors to create a platform that meets the distinct challenges of this community.”

. The online experience, from originations to servicing tools, will include new offerings such as:

  • Student Loan Cashback Credit Card: The only credit card that offers 2% cashback to pay down student loans with most loan servicers.
  • Student Loan Refi & Linked Savings: Link new savings accounts when refinancing student loans to build savings while obtaining an even lower interest rate.
  • High Yield Savings Account: Qualified borrowers can open an account and earn 10x the national average Annual Percentage Yield (APY), with $0 to open, no minimum balance, and no monthly maintenance fees to fast-track savings goals.
  • Financial Insights: Personalized data and guidance that allows doctors to compare against those in similar specialties on salary, debt and more, utilize educational content to build financial literacy, and access custom insights for budgeting.
  • Laurel Road Perks!: Exclusive offers, discounts and benefits through a newly established and growing partner network of premium brand partners such as P.volve, Sakara, Rent the Runway, Brooklinen, KidPass, Talkspace and The White Coat Investor.
  • Premium Care Team: Financial healthcare support specialists to provide personalized care seven days a week.

While speaking about the launch, Chris Gorman, Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp, added:

“We acquired Laurel Road in 2019 with the intention of scaling this digital born business. Through this new digital bank offering we are able to provide a secure online experience and customized banking solutions to meet the special needs of physicians and dentists.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/04/173861-keybank-laurel-road-unveils-digital-bank-specifically-for-doctors/

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Celsius Network Update: Offers Yield on Gold-Backed wDGLD Token

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Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform, announced on Thursday it will add support for CoinShares wDGLD token. According to Celsius, customers will be able to hold wDGLD tokens in their Celsius wallets to earn weekly compounding yield or use their coins as collateral to get cash loans against their crypto.

“CoinShares and Blockchain.com launched the wDGLD token in November 2020 as a solution to bring digital gold onto the Ethereum network and extend its usability within the digital asset ecosystem. wDGLD is pegged 1:1 with DGLD, a gold-backed token built on the Bitcoin blockchain and is currently available in the Blockchain.com wallet, home to over 69 million created wallets.”

Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius, spoke about the support by stating:

“It’s a win-win-win when we’re able to form mutually beneficial partnerships that also generate more value for our customers. At a time when dollars and other inflationary currencies are losing value at an exponential rate, adding wDGLD provides our users with yet another option to diversify their assets in a way that acts in their best interest.”

Founded in 2017, Celsius addresses the financial needs of today’s consumers worldwide through a democratized interest income and lending platform accessible through a mobile app.

“Built on the belief that financial services should only do what is in the best interests of the community, Celsius is a modern platform where membership provides access to curated financial services that are not available through traditional financial institutions.”

Celsius recently announced it now holds more than $5.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/04/173860-celsius-network-update-offers-yield-on-gold-backed-wdgld-token/

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A Day in the Life of Madysson Bouchard, Indie Film Producer and Co-Founder of Sunday Breakfast Studio

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Whether you’re raising funds for a creative project or a new business idea, running your own crowdfunding campaign is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment to bring your ideas and concepts to life, and get your backer community excited about them. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a creative entrepreneur on Indiegogo is like? We’re here to give you an exclusive glimpse into 24 hours of their day. 

Juggling creative projects, a film production company, and a crowdfunding campaign can be challenging, so we’re always inspired when we encounter a woman can do it all. Meet Montreal-based indie film producer and graphic designer Madysson Bouchard who co-founded Sunday Breakfast Studio.

Together with indie filmmaker Gregory Thomas David, she is running a campaign to fund Portraits of A Family — a film that adapts the true story of a Filipino-Canadian family, spanning over two decades, as they struggle to put the pieces back together after divorce and drug addiction has torn them apart:

“Portraits of a Family is the story of a family of four, including two first generation Filipino-Canadian boys, and the hardships they face within the span of two decades. We see this family at their lowest of lows, struggling through the complexities of divorce and the pain and frustration of drug addiction, but through it all they find a way, as individuals and as a unit, to remain strong, intact and full of love. Although this is a family drama that may sound familiar, and that many people can probably relate to, we are driven to create this film in order to show an authentic Filipino-Canadian experience that the film industry is sorely lacking.”

Your contribution will allow their production to start filming, and get this story out to screens everywhere, in a world where AAPI voices and images are missing some real representation.

The team at Sunday Breakfast Studio

Read on to see how Madysson spends 24 hours in her day, working as a creative professional in Montreal. Then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better, learn more about Portraits of A Family, and get inspired!

6 A.M. As a mom to a two-year-old boy, this is usually where my day begins. I’d love to say that I get up  early to do yoga and get a fresh start to my day, but it’s more along the lines of watching  cartoons while sharing cereal with my son. Although I could use some extra sleep on most days,  this is the hour in my day where I get to spend time alone with him and get a good fix of his tiny  cuddles before the day fully begins. 

7 A.M. The action begins. It’s time for our little family to get dressed, have breakfast, get ready  for the day and leave the house for daycare. As simple as it looks, this takes a full hour for us,  because best believe that a pregnant lady and a toddler are not the fastest when it comes to  getting ready! 

8 A.M. Once I drop off my son at daycare, I switch hats to become both a graphic designer and a  producer. Making an independent film is a lot of work, but so is taking care of a family. So, at  the same time as being a full-time producer for Portraits of a Family, I also have a full-time job as a graphic designer, which helps us stay afloat and develop my creativity. 

9 A.M. The time in my workday where no one is yet active and I get to catch up with the many emails I’ve received since the last time I checked. It’s usually the same: new design projects that  need to be finished within the week, or questions from actors, volunteers and sponsors.  Answering all of these takes no less than an hour, and it helps set the tone for the day, too.

Madysson Bouchard at work

10 A.M. It’s time to get down to business. As opposed to a producer on a regular production, I  have to wear many hats to be able to get things done. That means PR, graphic design, set  design, castings, finances, and many, many more! Our team is made of the director, who is also  my fiancé, and a handful of volunteers who give a few days a week to the project. When  something needs to be done, I usually take care of it! This is the time of the day where I map  out the needs of the production for that day and decide what to do and what to delegate. 

11 A.M. By that time, I usually have most of our PR needs answered for the day. Emails have been  answered and sent, our Inbox is clear, and our volunteers have been reached to know what to  work on that day. On busy days, the director and I spend some time watching new auditions  and writing notes for potential call-backs. When I have more time, I focus on creating visuals to  update the website, our social media platforms, or our Indiegogo campaign. 

12 P.M. Did I mention an Indiegogo campaign? That’s right! All of us spend a lot of time sending the  campaign to friends and family, as well as posting it on different groups and to communities  who can offer support. We also have a newsletter thanking personally all donors which I send  from the Sunday Breakfast Studio email at this point of the day, every day. 

1 P.M. Time for a well-deserved break. Although working from home allows us to spend time together,  my fiancé and I like to put everything aside during lunch time, including work-talk. We fix  ourselves a quick meal, share a few thoughts and stories, and go right back to work. 

2 P.M. After lunch, I usually have a few meetings scheduled. Some people like to get the day started  with meetings, but I’d rather have time to prepare first. As a graphic designer working  remotely, zoom meetings are the best way for me to fully understand the client’s needs and get  a complete brief. And as a do-it-all producer, I often have to answer questions regarding  auditions, funding, pre-production and logistics. 

3 P.M. Only one hour left before we have to go get our son. It’s a short 15 minutes from our house, but  once he’s home, we put our computers, and the workload that comes with it, aside. So, it’s  crunch time to send the last few emails before I go MIA for a few hours. I send draft projects for  approval, requests for the next day, update our Excel tables and make sure all the data,  information and visuals made during the day are available to everyone on our drive. 

4 P.M. Picking up my son has to be one of my favourite moments in a day. Even at his young age, he  has loads to tell us; including what he did with his friends, what games he played and where he  went. It’s a good reminder that he has his own world, too, filled with just as many adventures  as us. We usually play some more once we get home and I get things ready for dinner. 

5 P.M. Now that I’m pregnant again, dinner can be tricky. It happens that I can’t stand being in the  kitchen, and that’s where my fiancé takes over. The rest of the time, though, I make dinner and  the boys (yes, even my son) get involved by mixing, cutting or washing the dishes. Now, just like  the morning, this is kind of a hectic time in our house because we also try to fit in a bath and a  small story time for our son. 

6 P.M. Usually means we’re really close to my son’s bedtime. We tidy up the last few things he  might’ve left around, make sure he has everything he needs, and then up in bed. For us this  also means we have time to wind down and rest a little bit until he’s 100% asleep. 

7 P.M. You’d think that my workday would be done by the time I first put away my laptop, right? Well,  it’s not the case! The dishes are down, the little one’s asleep, and we go right back to work. As I  said, being a producer is a full-time job, and with another full-time job keeping me busy during  the day, I have to find time to work on the film, and that happens to be at night. As exhausting  as it sounds, there’s nothing better than working on your own projects.

8 P.M. At night, most of my focus goes towards visuals and logistics. Since everyone is pretty much off the grid, it’s the perfect time to work on the social media calendar, on our budget sheet, our  prop list or design the costumes. In this production, I act as pretty much every department’s  head, and make sure we’re respecting our tight schedule and budget.  

9 P.M. And still going! With the TV on in the background, I write a list of the things that need to  be done the next day. It can be hard to balance two full-time jobs as well as being a mom, and  keeping a house clean, but this is where my fiancé comes in. As the director of Portraits of a  Family, he wears just as many hats as I do and shares the full load.  

10 P.M. On most days, this marks the end of our workday. We work until we have to, but seeing how  early our son wakes up, it’s safe to say that bedtime shouldn’t be too late. I usually take a few  minutes to relax and leave the day behind before going to bed. 

11 P.M. And it’s lights out! Although this schedule is pretty packed and often asks us to juggle  many things at once, it’s one that I chose and that I’m happy to have. I wouldn’t change one  hour of my day, nor would I change any of the many hats I put on.

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what their day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with Madysson below!

INDIEGOGO: How and why did you become a film producer? Was it something you always intended  for yourself? 

MADYSSON: I studied in fashion marketing and business finances for 3 years. I had many jobs in the fashion  industry, including visual merchandising, designer, stylist, etc. When I met Gregory and learnt  about his passion and ambitions when it comes to making films, I wanted nothing more than to  support him. Throughout the process of helping here and there, I realized that producing a film  regroups a lot of the things I am good at and love doing. It was never in my plans, but it all  makes sense now.

INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo film project unique? 

MADYSSON: Portraits of a Family is one of the rare Filipino-Canadian stories out there. There are very little  films being made in Canada that are made by and showcasing Filipinos and their culture. And  because of that, it makes it an important project to a lot of people as it would be a chance for  the Filipino community to hold leading roles amongst the cast and the crew. This is definitely  something to be a part of. 

INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to make movies? 

MADYSSON: There’s never too much planning. They say you can never make a movie in a cheap, fast and  good way. You always have to choose two; it’s either cheap and good, but a slow process, or  expensive but you get to do it faster. You will know which one is right for you. We knew that  money would be our biggest challenge, and so we’ve scheduled every month for over a year,  from development until production and beyond. Make sure you know the schedule by heart,  because it’s easy to forget deadlines or important steps when there is so much to do. 

INDIEGOGO: What are the film influences behind your movie?

MADYSSON: A lot of the inspiration for Portraits of a Family comes from these films: The Squid and the Whale, Moonlight, After the Storm, A Separation, and Boyhood. From the look to the thematic  feel of these five movies, we can find similarities in what we’re trying to create. None of them  are Filipino movies, hence why our film is an important one to make. 

INDIEGOGO: What tools would you recommend to anyone starting their own business,  crowdfunding campaign or project? 

MADYSSON: I wouldn’t have been able to learn everything that I know without the book Producer to Producer by Maureen A. Ryan. She’s a genius when it comes to explaining everything a  producer has to do in the most efficient way. Every step is described along with the resources  to get further help. I would also say to always keep two copies of everything. If you register your IP for a film, make sure to also scan the official paper and keep it on a Drive. Same goes for schedules, contracts, and so on. Anything can happen and some papers are too valuable to lose, such as permits and official documents. Our team shares everything through the same Drive, and communicates using apps like Teams, or Slack. 

INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign? 

MADYSSON: I really liked the East West Eats Cookbook campaign by Ellen Lee. It featured many chefs from The Bay Area and helped a student project at the same time, plus the recipes looked great. We have a Filipino recipe book ourselves as a perk and we can never have too many!

To support Madysson and Gregory in making Portraits of A Family happen, check out their Indiegogo campaign page or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. To learn more about her other creative projects, you can follow her on Instagram.

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Source: https://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2021/04/a-day-in-the-life-of-madysson-bouchard-indie-film-producer-and-founder-of-sunday-breakfast-studio.html

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Pine Labs Reports that CIMB Bank, HSBC Bank, Others are Using its Buy Now Pay Later Solution, Now Also Available in Malaysia

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Pine Labs, an Asian merchant commerce solution provider that’s backed by payments giant Mastercard, has introduced a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution in Malaysia.

Pine Labs aims to offer a technology-focused offline payments platform where several different credit card issuers can use a common terminal to provide BNPL offers to clients.

AFFIN BANK, AmBank, CIMB Bank, HSBC Bank, RHB Bank are now using Pine Labs’ BNPL solution.

Pine Labs reports that it has managed to achieve success with its offline BNPL platform in India where it claims a 95% market share. During late 2020, Pine Labs had revealed that it was planning to introduce its BNPL platform through a partnership with Mastercard. The company said it would launch the service in Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Kush Mehra, Chief Business Officer, Pine Labs, stated:

“It is an excellent product and a win-win proposition for everyone involved including consumers who get affordable buying options, merchants who are getting an enticing proposition to woo customers back to the stores and boost their sales, and banks and brands who get to build their brand loyalty. This integrated solution that we launched with Mastercard will now be further expanded to newer markets in the region.”

As covered, Pine Labs is an India-headquartered merchant commerce platform that’s focused on expanding its services to Southeast Asia, thanks to key organizational changes.

As previously reported, Pine Labs offers a merchant platform that includes technology and financial solutions for merchants to help them in increasing their revenue, reducing the cost and complexity of running a business, and managing the risks involved. The company connects financial institutions and consumer brands to empower merchants to deliver value to their retail customers.

Pine Labs and its tech platform power both offline and online “last-mile retail transactions, provide customer insights to merchants for targeted sales and offer risk-managed financial solutions for merchants’ business growth.” Today, more than 1 million merchants in India and several other Asian countries, use Pine Labs’ solutions to “run accessible, affordable, speedy and risk-managed last-mile retail operations.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/04/173848-pine-labs-reports-that-cimb-bank-hsbc-bank-others-are-using-its-buy-now-pay-later-solution-now-also-available-in-malaysia/

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