Elkstone Venture May 2020
May saw a flurry of deal activity through Robotify and Thirty Madison completing their oversubscribed investment rounds, the Evercam deal being fully subscribed by Venture Club Members and several portfolio companies completing follow-on investment rounds. Positive portfolio company news includes The Meatless Farm Co. being set to close a heavily oversubscribed eight-figure Series B round at more than double the valuation of the Elkstone Venture Club’s Series A investment this time last year.
The level of demand from venture investors for the recent investment rounds of Robotify, Thirty Madison and LetsGetChecked underlines that COVID-19 is accelerating the momentum of the virtual education technology and direct-to-consumer digital healthcare trends that these companies base their theses on. Outside of funding, the Venture team are continuing to work closely with our portfolio companies to help them navigate the challenges they face amidst the current environment.
Paddy Dillon is a Venture Investment Associate at Elkstone.
VENTURE CLUB COMPANY NEWS
Last week, LetsGetChecked announced that the FDA has authorised its at-home COVID-19 test under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which will provide customers with the ability to test themselves from the comfort and safety of their homes. The LetsGetChecked test is the only FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 test that owns all aspects of the testing service, including the collection kit manufacturing process, logistics, lab analysis, and physician approval. Offering this end-to-end model makes this the world’s most complete FDA-authorised at-home Coronavirus testing solution.
LetsGetChecked has also become the largest installer of Hologic, Inc. Panther systems in North America dedicated to COVID-19 testing. This increased capacity has helped the company to maintain a turnaround time for COVID-19 test results of less than 24 hours.
Rory McIlroy took to social media to thank LetsGetChecked for providing free COVID-19 testing and screening which made the Taylor Made Driving Relief golf event possible and raised $5,503,959 for COVID-19 relief.
In May, the company recently raised $71 Million in funding in a Series C Round with high calibre healthcare investors Illumina Ventures and HLM Ventures. Nasdaq publicly congratulated LetsGetChecked on a billboard in Times Square, New York. We think there is an exciting journey ahead for Peter Foley and the team, with plenty more successes to come.
HealthBeacon was featured, along with LetsGetChecked, in an Irish Times piece on the Irish companies stepping up to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. CTO Kieran Daly described how the company is adapting its offering for the acute needs that COVID-19 brings whilst taking a longer-term view of how best to support patients with its Injection Care Management System in a world where digital health is more important than ever.
The company also announced that members of Laya Healthcare will be reimbursed on injectable medications, as well as providing them with virtual care support, co-ordination of medication delivery, medical waste collection, and home monitoring with the HealthBeacon Smart Sharps Bin. Read more here.
The Meatless Farm Co. featured in an article on how producers of plant-based meat alternatives have been enjoying strong sales with growth of 25% in the three months to April compared with last year, according to Kantar Research. Demand has been driven by the increase in supermarket shopping during lockdown, combined with the poor availability of some meat products, as well as concerns over animal welfare and a desire to reduce carbon footprint, according to some companies.
Morten Toft Bech, founder of The Meatless Farm Co. said: “This analysis of strong growth in plant-based [meat alternatives] mirrors what we are seeing on the ground.”
The global plant-based meat market will be worth $3.6 billion this year and $4.2 billion in 2021 according to Research & Markets, a global research company. Read more here.
Flipdish CEO and co-founder, Conor McCarthy, spoke to Ian King at Sky News about why it’s so important for restaurants and takeaways to build their own brands online to encourage their customers to order from them directly rather than through competitive marketplaces.
Conor McCarthy said in this televised interview that “it’s suicide for restaurants to send all of their customers away to these marketplaces, not only because they’re being charged very high fees of 30% and up for every single order, but because of the very real risk that their customers will be directed away from them to a competitor or to one of the marketplaces’ own brands.”
In a recent survey undertaken by Flipdish, it revealed that 7 in ten takeaway customers are happy to order online direct from restaurants or takeaways to save them from closure.