Today: Jun 14, 2024

Boomerang Ventures: Investing in Xploro, the Pediatric Health Education Startup.

6 months ago

Key Points:

  • Pediatrics is a sector that receives little venture funding, with only 4.7% of overall sector funding going towards digital health startups addressing pediatric health in the first three quarters of 2023.
  • Xploro, a startup focused on pediatric health education, recently raised $1.7 million in a seed round led by Boomerang Ventures.

Article:

Pediatrics is a sector that doesn’t see much venture funding: in the first three quarters of 2023, digital health startups addressing pediatric health raised $413.6 million across 20 deals, or just 4.7% of overall sector funding. And that’s an increase from previous years: from 2011 to 2019 the space saw an average of 1.7% of annual digital health funding.

One company that has made young patients its focus is Xploro, which announced a $1.7 million seed round this week, led by Boomerang Ventures. Established in the UK in 2019, and relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 2022, Xploro came about after the daughter of Dominic Raban, the company’s co-founder and CEO, was diagnosed at age 13 with Ewing’s Sarcoma. The platform uses augmented reality, gaming, and AI to offer health information, to engage and inform young patients, with the aim of reducing stress, improving health literacy, and enhancing outcomes. The platform is available in multiple languages and includes solutions for oncology, needles and injections, and radiology, among others. The company collaborates with organizations like World Child Cancer and partners with healthcare providers such as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Cleveland, and several NHS Trusts.

The company plans to use the new investment to expand into new treatment areas, enhance sales and customer success functions, while securing runway through 2025, including broadening health condition coverage and involving third-party content creators.

Josh Nickols, PhD, Venture Partner at Boomerang Ventures, spoke to VatorNews about Xpoloro, why they chose to invest, and the firm’s vision for healthcare. Nickols explained that innovation in the pediatrics space has historically lagged behind new treatments for adults due to the smaller market for medical technologies. Additionally, the FDA takes a more rigorous approach to safety in pediatrics, which can make finding patients for trials and testing new medicines more difficult. Xploro’s solution stands out because it focuses on reducing stress and anxiety in pediatric patients through educational content and interactive features.

A typical patient interacts with Xploro’s platform by registering and then accessing modules that explain different procedures they may receive. The platform provides engaging tutorials and techniques to help patients anticipate what will happen in a healthcare setting, reducing anxiety and improving outcomes. Xploro has participated in trials and ongoing studies that have shown significant reductions in procedure time, repeated attempts, and improvements in patient comfort.

Xploro currently works with nearly a dozen major pediatric hospitals, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals Cleveland. The company plans to expand beyond academic medical centers and bring its technology to smaller community hospitals, immediate care centers, and clinics. The goal is to improve the healthcare experience for children and extend the same benefits to adult patients as well.

Boomerang Ventures was drawn to Xploro’s vision and the team’s personal experiences with healthcare. The firm believes that Xploro’s platform aligns with the future of healthcare, which is shifting towards a holistic design and extending care to the home and throughout a patient’s day. Xploro’s technology can support this shift by providing actionable information to clinicians, improving everyday living and health, and enhancing preparation and post-procedural outcomes.