Cera, a London, UK-based technology-enabled homecare startup, closed $17m Series A funding.
Backers included Guinness Asset Management, through its EIS fund, Yabeo, Kairos, and Peter Sands.
The company will use the funding (equity and available debt) to invest in AI, following the announcement of its AI assistant, Martha, last year, and expand its services further across the UK, launching in an additional three cities including Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham via an innovative ‘buy and build’ strategy.
As part of the initiative, Cera will buy struggling homecare agencies across the UK.
Launched in November 2016 by Dr. Ben Maruthappu and Marek Sacha, Cera is a homecare provider that uses digital and artificial intelligence. Through matching algorithm and automated scheduling systems, the company is able respond to enquiries within the hour.
Now in her prototype phase, AI assistant Martha can foresee deteriorations in patient health, based on carer feedback on whether a patient hasn’t been eating, has a fever, or isn’t walking normally, to pre-empt more serious illnesses and avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital.
The funding comes after some appointments including:
– Sir Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister, who has joined as Chairman of the Advisory Board,
– Ankur Jain, Director of Product Development, who was formally Global VP of product at Tinder,
– Philip Young – previously Senior Legal Counsel at Liberty Global, who has joined as General Counsel to lead on Cera’s ‘buy and build’ strategy,
– Tao Fu, who spent six years at Amazon and launched its first Amazon Fresh centre in London, who has joined as Head of Operations;
– Stefan Magdalinski, former CTO of Virgin.com and founding CTO of Moo.com, has joined as COO; and
– Ansgar Lange, who led German business development for med tech company Cochlear, who will lead Cera’s German expansion.