Traditionally, males haven’t been nice at speaking brazenly about their well being, or searching for therapy. It’s this drawback that Handbook, a London-based healthtech startup says is hoping to resolve, because it broadcasts a $30m Sequence A spherical, after quadrupling its revenues in 2020.
The spherical included present traders Cherry Ventures and Felix Capital, in addition to new US-based backers Sonoma Manufacturers, Waldencast, and FJ Labs.
Handbook gives males personalised remedies and ongoing care, primarily based on a blood check and distant session, for situations starting from sexual well being and skincare, to hair loss and coronary heart issues.
“Males usually don’t open up about their well being and we’re making an attempt to be a driving pressure behind that,” says founder and chief govt George Pallis.
What males need
Handbook is a part of a small however rising record of startups making an attempt to modernise the best way males take care of themselves. Others on this house embrace US-based Hims (which trades at a reached a $2.4bn valuation after listing this year via a SPAC) and Numan, one other London-founded startup, which raised a £10m Series A round final 12 months.
What’s notable about all of those corporations is that once you go to their web sites, two well being points are clearly positioned entrance and centre of their companies: erectile dysfunction and hair loss.
“They’re an enormous drawback for males, very stigmatised and two of the primary classes we tackled,” says Pallis.
It’s maybe no shock that these two points are entrance and centre for main males’s well being startups. Erectile dysfunction and balding are closely entangled with societal requirements round masculinity, and when males cease residing as much as these requirements the expertise can really feel shameful.
However this, in accordance with Pallis, is simply the sharp finish of a a lot wider drawback.
“9 out of 10 males don’t take care of their well being until they completely must,” he says, pointing to a report from the UK’s National Pharmacy Association. “We need to construct a holistic vacation spot for males’s well being, and a group.”
He additionally says that sexual well being remedies now make up lower than half of Handbook’s orders.
The three Cs
Pallis is conscious that altering a widespread reluctance round participating in males’s healthcare gained’t be simple. Handbook now runs a Fb web page for patrons and non-customers, as a discussion board to debate males’s well being points, and produces common occasions and blogs with the intent of demystifying taboo points.
“I believe content material, conversations and group are essential,” he explains. “It’s fairly a tricky drawback to crack.”
Pallis can also be hoping that Handbook’s healthcare service will assist males consider healthcare as extra of an ongoing course of, somewhat than a troubleshooting train when main points pop up.
“Transferring from reactive to proactive is what we’re tackling as a platform,” he says. “We would like folks to return to us from the diagnostic perspective and speak about it. Talk about with us. Ask the specialists. Give us some knowledge to grasp extra about your well being after which let’s see what’s finest for you.”
This knowledge comes from a house blood testing equipment which Handbook recommends as a part of its diagnostic and session course of. That is mixed with questionnaire solutions, to create ongoing well being plans suited to every particular person, prescribing a mix of remedies and dietary supplements, in addition to entry to recommendation from healthcare professionals.
Pallis says healthcare subscriptions are inclined to vary between £30-£150 per order.
Handbook’s recent funding spherical will likely be used to enhance and increase the startup’s product and companies, with plans to make hires in each the medical and tech groups. Pallis can also be hoping to increase internationally, after a profitable launch in Brazil earlier this 12 months.
“One of many nations we actually preferred was Brazil. Regulation has advanced there in the course of the Covid disaster. We launched there a few months in the past and it’s going rather well,” he explains.
Choices on worldwide launches will likely be closely influenced by the state of telehealth regulation in several territories, with many nations nonetheless lagging behind on permitting prescriptions and medical consultations on-line.
And because the healthtech sector experiences a Covid-assisted growth spurt, Pallis hopes that Handbook will likely be properly positioned to benefit from growing telehealth adoption. Whether or not males will likely be persuaded to open up extra, about their most intimate healthcare points, would be the more durable nut to crack.