Health-Tech Startup, Naluri Raises RM1 Million Seed Funding
Malaysia-based digital health startup, Naluri Hidup has successfully raised approximately RM1 million in seed funding from BioMark, a healthcare analytics company based in Singapore, and Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups, through its Southeast Asia-focussed fund – 500 Durians.
Naluri works with insurers, employers and hospitals to offer a health psychology based preventive health program for at-risk policyholders and employees, and a rehabilitative program for chronic illness patients. Through the Naluri app, users are connected to dedicated health psychologists who provide personalised coaching and use evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing techniques to strengthen users’ mental resilience and resolve to achieve and sustain better health outcomes such as weight loss, better stress management, or reduction in blood pressure or blood sugar levels.
In addition to dedicated health psychologist support,the Naluri app also provides users with chat access to a certified dietitian, medical advisor, executive coach, fitness coach and a peer support group. This is further augmented with digital tools including a photo food journal, thought journal, weekly planner and a weight monitoring feature to track users’ progress. These digital tools supplement and enhance the personalised coaching from health coaches.
Co-founded in mid-2017 by Azran Osman-Rani, Dr. Jeremy Ting and Dr. Hariyati Abdul Majid, Naluri was established with the aim of radically improving mass market access to health psychological services and help users adopt healthier lifestyle habits through personalised guidance and coaching. A digital platform not only increases scale, improves affordability and makes it more convenient for users, but it also enables improvements in productivity and effectiveness of psychologists through the application of data science and digital design.
“Malaysia is currently the most unhealthy nation in Asia, with two-thirds of adults having either Hypertension, High Cholesterol or Diabetes, and almost half are overweight.
Existing solutions like corporate wellness programs, wearables, diet programs, and gym memberships have low retention rates. Many drop out because of mental resilience factors like self-esteem and confidence, stress and mental fatigue, and a lack of lifestyle problem-solving support.
There are models in developed markets that are achieving success with comprehensive online support for chronic disease users, but we see an opportunity to localize it for emerging markets with language, lifestyle culture, spiritual support to have better engagement for the mass market.
You can’t tell the mass market user in Southeast Asia about kale, quinoa, or Fitbits and expensive gym memberships when it’s not relevant or accessible to their lifestyles. You need local professionals who understand local language, diet and culture, as well as local stressors and constraints to build trust-based relationships with users in our markets.” – Azran Osman-Rani.
This amount of funding raised, combined with the capital initially seeded by the founders, provides the runway to complete development of the Naluri digital platform and conduct commercial and clinical trials with Naluri’s industry partners.
“Our investment is based on the tremendous synergies that we see between BioMark and Naluri, from combining our personalised health recommendations derived from our proprietary analysis of a user’s biomarkers, with Naluri’s personalised coaching services to help the users implement the desired lifestyle changes” – Co-Founder, BioMark, Dr Christopher Ting.
“Naluri is revolutionizing the delivery of a proven therapy method to a customer segment that typically doesn’t have access to these types of services. They’ve seen promising early test results and I cannot wait to see what they’ll achieve over the coming year with the additional funding.” – 500 Startups Managing Partner, Khailee Ng.