health tech, schroders

London-based digital health startup Cera Care Limited has raised $320m (£263.6m) in an equity and debt funding round, with the goal of increasing the number of patients it serves from 15,000 to 100,000.

Based in the UK and with some operations in Germany, Cera’s digital platform provides services such as prescriptions home deliveries and nursing care based on data analysis.

Cera nurses perform at-home appointments where patient data is collected and studied by AI algorithms. Cera claims its AI tech can predict patient health deterioration before it occurs and therefore reduce the need for hospitalisation.

The company says this can reduce the strain on NHS services and free up hospital beds and care capacity.

Data from the Office for National Statistics released earlier this year found health and social care vacancies have risen 57.5% since before the pandemic. The understaffed health services cause increased waiting times and difficulties finding in-person treatments.

“Receiving such significant financial backing during this period of global economic volatility is testament to the strength of Cera’s business model, our innovation, and our commitment to revolutionising healthcare,” said Cera founder and CEO Dr Ben Maruthappu MBE.

“We’re now in pole position to be able to use our unique technology to expand what we do for patients across the world who are in need of care, while relieving pressures on public services.”

The new funds came from Schroders Capital, Jane Street Capital, KairosHQ, and Vanderbilt University.

“Ageing populations, post-pandemic recovery and major staff shortages have created a series of issues facing healthcare providers and governments,” said Tim Creed, head of private equity investments at Schroders Capital.

“Cera’s digital-first home healthcare is a unique offering that we believe must be rolled out far and wide to provide a tangible solution to hospital waiting times, build a bigger carer workforce and help our elderly communities to receive quality, genuine care.”

In 2018, Cera raised $17m (£14m) despite facing accusations of unverified fake online reviews.

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