J&J leads $7M round for German digital health company Cara Care

Cara Care, a digital health startup focused on digestive diseases, raised $7 million to bring its mobile app to more patients, primarily in the U.S. Johnson & Johnson’s venture arm JJDC led the series A round alongside Asabys Partners, with Atlantic Labs also chipping in. 

Founded in 2016, Berlin-based Cara Care offers its app in German and English to patients with diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal reflux disease. The company developed the app to bridge a gap in care for patients with these diseases and help them manage their medications and tweak their diets to improve their health. 

The company launched its app in 2016 and raised $2 million from angel investors the next year. It reckons about 400,000 people have used the app in Germany and the U.S. to manage their disease. Patients log their food, symptoms and medications in the Cara app, which sends them “dietary and mental health interventions” to help them control their symptoms between doctor’s visits. 

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It expanded its offerings in Germany, giving app users access to paid remote sessions with certified nutritionists in 2018. With the new financing, it will boost its footprint in the U.S. and fund research to better understand digestive diseases and what causes them to flare up. 

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“We believe mobile software can have a significant therapeutic effect on these patients, as GI diseases are highly influenced by factors such as diet, stress, mental health and physical activity,” said Cara Care co-founder André Sommer, M.D., in a statement. “By identifying individual triggers for symptoms and flares, we can tailor interventions to reduce symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. Based on the health and lifestyle data, it is further possible to optimize medication intake, increase adherence and match the right therapy with the right patient.” 

Cara Care is working to expand its partnerships—and hunting for new ones—with players in the biopharma, diagnostics and food manufacturing industries, it said in the statement.