London-based Doccla, a provider of virtual hospital technology, announced on Tuesday that it has closed €5M from Bertelsmann Investments, the global venture capital arm of Bertelsmann Corporation.
The funding (received as a convertible loan) will be deployed for Doccla’s European expansion, focusing on Germany, which Doccla views as a priority market during the next phase of its expansion.
The announcement follows September 2022’s Series A round, which raised €16.7M in funding led by US VC firm General Catalyst.
In August 2023, Doccla acquired the medically certified cloud-based platform OpenTeleHealth.
Doccla CEO Dag Larsson says, “We are very proud to have Bertelsmann Investments with us on our journey to bring remote patient monitoring to as wide a patient base as possible. Doccla is scaling rapidly, and to bolster our position as Europe’s virtual hospital, we require the best people in our corner. Bertelsmann Investments’ deep industrial expertise and remarkable team make them an ideal partner for the next chapter in the Doccla journey. Our European expansion will bring virtual wards – and their benefits – to a whole new level.”
Stefan Zundel recently joined Doccla as the General Manager for Germany to strengthen the local presence and focus on German clients.
A former McKinsey consultant and experienced digital health entrepreneur, he previously founded the ophthalmology startup Dopavision and is passionate about advancing the digitalization of German healthcare.
Doccla: Providing virtual hospital for remote monitoring
Martin Ratz founded Doccla during the pandemic in 2019 after he suffered a heart attack at a young age. According to Martin, the experience of hospital stay and discharge without any monitoring was ridiculous when new technology was available.
At that time, he realised a clear need for someone to help patients to bring them closer to their carers while recovering safely at home.
Martin partnered with Dag Larsson, who had extensive experience scaling tech companies, to establish Doccla.
Doccla’s virtual ward technology is designed to keep patients at home and out of the hospital while being closely digitally monitored by healthcare professionals.
Patients receiving care through the virtual ward service are given a tailor-made box of equipment, which includes a pre-configured tablet.
The box also includes wearable medical devices that, depending on a person’s needs, can measure heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and a range of other vital signs.
As per the company’s claims, it has already saved thousands of bed days for the British NHS and has achieved a 29 per cent reduction in
Emergency Admissions and a 20 per cent reduction in A&E attendance for client health trusts.
Doccla investors include:
- General Catalyst
- KHP Ventures (a collaboration between King’s College London, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust)
- Giant Ventures
Currently, the company has clients in 13 countries (10 in Europe), with almost 10,000 patients under active monitoring.
Bertelsmann Investments (BI) comprises Bertelsmann’s global venture capital activities and the Bertelsmann Next growth unit.
The venture capital arm includes the Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) funds, as well as selected fund and direct holdings in markets including Europe, the United States, Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa.
The Bertelsmann Next unit advances the entrepreneurial development of new growth sectors and business areas, including digital health, mobile gaming, and HR Tech.
Around €1.7B has been invested in more than 400 innovative companies and funds through Bertelsmann. Investments.
Bertelsmann Investments currently holds over 300 active investments worldwide through its network of startups and funds.
Bertelsmann Investments CEO Carsten Coesfeld says, “Doccla is the right investment decision for us: The track record in the UK is convincing, and we are delighted to support the team around the founders Dag Larsson and Martin Ratz with their expansion in Europe. Together, we have already successfully initiated the start in Germany. Within Bertelsmann Investments, the Bertelsmann Next unit focuses its investments on the fast-growing digital health sector. Overall, we see great opportunities for the digital healthcare market and have invested €90M since last year.”