Female founders raise record-breaking investment round to revolutionise cancer care
Today, Vine Health announce the completion of their £1.2m seed round, led by Playfair Capital – marking the first ever investment round of over £1m raised by an all-female founding team from the world-leading talent investor Entrepreneur First.
Founded by Rayna Patel, a Cambridge-trained doctor and NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur, and Georgina Kirby, a data scientist & former VP of leading health tech startup Touch Surgery, Vine is a digital health platform to support cancer patients during and after treatment.
The two founders came together through a shared passion to improve the quality of life of people suffering from cancer – a commonly overlooked factor by health services and pharmaceutical companies alike.
The Vine Health App
We all know that our behaviours impact our health – but in cancer, the stakes are much higher.
A mounting body of evidence now indicates that better symptom and medication self-management can increase survival rates in cancer patients by an astonishing 20%.
And Vine Health helps individuals do just that: the company’s mobile app helps patients going through cancer to track, understand and optimise their medication-taking, symptoms and lifestyle, allowing people to feel more in control of their treatments and its corresponding side effects.
Behind the scenes, Vine Health does even more. Through empowering patients, the platform collects large-scale data on how particular drugs affect patients’ quality of life, creating crucial evidence for the development of new treatments.
Currently, 96% of cancer patients never get access to clinical trials. This has a knock on effect on the size and quality of data able to be used for the creation of the next generation of life-saving drugs.
The age-old system of enclosed and highly orchestrated clinical trials is no longer the way forward. Now more than ever, there is a necessity for an efficient platform to collect and learn from real-time patient-generated data that reflects the real world experience that cancer patients live through day to day – and Vine Health looks to be the answer.
Dr. Rayna Patel, CEO at Vine Health said: “Many people living with cancer feel isolated and unsupported, and traditional routes of delivering healthcare struggle to address these issues. It’s also imperative that we gather the necessary data to understand how cancer therapies affect not just survival, but quality of life, so that patients and doctors can weigh up this information to make informed decisions about their care. At Vine, our goal is to put patients back in control.”
A step forward for female founders
With only 12% of VC funding going to female founders and only 2% to all-female founded companies, Vine Health’s ground-breaking seed round marks a key point in the development of the London investment ecosystem.
Playfair was joined in the round by Entrepreneur First, Ascension Ventures and Tiny VC, as well as a number of well known angel investors including Simon and Michael Blakey and Pam Garside.
The company will use the funds to develop its platform and make key hires at its London-based headquarters.
Chris Smith, Managing Partner of lead investor Playfair Capital, said: “Rayna and Georgina are on a mission to revolutionise cancer care for patients across the globe and we’re thrilled to support them on their journey. This is exactly the kind of innovative early-stage business Playfair Capital wants to invest in and work hard to help grow and fulfill its huge potential.”
Alice Bentinck, co-founder of Entrepreneur First, said: “We are incredibly excited to have supported two such talented and driven female founders at such an early stage. This is a highly significant milestone in breaking the glass ceiling for women entrepreneurs.”
About Vine Health
Vine Health’s digital platform uses behavioural science and AI to increase the quality of life and survival of cancer patients. The Vine mobile app allows patients to track, understand and optimise their care, supporting them to feel in control and better self-manage. There is strong evidence that tracking alone increases tolerance of chemotherapy and improves health outcomes. Through this, the Vine platform is able to accurately track high-quality patient data in real-time to inform healthcare delivery and drug development.
About Entrepreneur First
Entrepreneur First (EF) is a talent investor, founded in London in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck to support the world’s most ambitious individuals to build globally important companies.