Dutch cooperative lender Rabobank and venture capital fund Future Food Fund have invested in Clear, a health-tech company which has developed a self-help app for type 2 diabetes patients
Rabobank and Future Food Fund (FFF) have invested €1 million in health-tech startup Clear, alongside several angel investors.
Clear, which was founded in 2019 by Piet Hein van Dam and Madelon Bracke, has developed a self-help tool for type 2 diabetes patients in collaboration with Dutch insurance company Zilveren Kruis, and a number of healthcare providers in Rotterdam.
More than half of the patients who took part in the personalised smart app programme, which allows users to analyse their body’s response to food, reported “a significant improvement of their health”, within two weeks, the company said in a press release.
“We look forward to working with Clear to help people improve their health through food,” said Jaap Strengers, investment director of Future Food Fund, a Dutch specialist venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies that can change the value chain of food and agriculture. “We are confident that the Clear team can make a significant contribution to building a more sustainable and healthier food system.”
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the Netherlands. One in three Dutch adults aged 45 or older is expected to develop type 2 diabetes in the future, according to the Dutch Diabetic Fund. It is estimated close to 1.5 million Dutch people may have diabetes by 2040.
“Diabetes 2 is a condition that is often caused by lifestyle,” said Clear founder and chief executive officer Piet Hein van Dam. “What is more logical to investigate if you can also revert it with your lifestyle?”
Future Food Fund
FFF typically invests in high-growth companies in the Netherlands that have been active for no more than seven years and need between €150,000 to €2 million in cash.
The companies they invests in have to be scalable, with the right product or market fit and have strong management, Jeroen Kimmels, co-founder and managing partner of FFF, told Impact Investor last year.
Rabobank invested in Clear because it aims to “stimulate the transformation of healthcare in the Netherlands,” said Jeroen Brouwer, start & scale-up banker at Rabobank.
“For this, we are looking for innovative entrepreneurs who contribute to higher quality, higher accessibility, and appropriate affordability within the sector,” said Brouwer. “The solution developed by Clear fits in seamlessly with this. We are therefore delighted to support this startup through our Rabo Innovation Loan – a financing solution for early-stage innovations,” Brouwer said.
Promoting better health
Clear aims to prepare its self-help tool for use by general practitioners and dieticians among large groups of patients. After Rotterdam, Clear plans to expand its digital diabetes programme to other regions in the Netherlands, in cooperation with local health practices.
“Digital healthcare solutions such as Clear can make a significant contribution to promoting (better) health, more control and independence for the user/patient,” said Arianne van Lavieren, healthcare innovation consultant of Zilveren Kruis, which supported the Clear project in Rotterdam through innovation funds.
“Innovation in healthcare is necessary to be able to continue to provide the most appropriate healthcare in the right place, even with looming capacity shortages,” she said.