Health-tech start-up bags funding from Japanese VC

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 13 Oct 2022

Cape Town-based health-tech start-up Strove is preparing to scale its services after closing its latest funding round led by Japanese venture capital (VC) fund, Lifetime Ventures.

Founded in 2020 by triathlete and business science graduate Chris Bruchhausen, the activity-based web and mobile application empowers organisations to inspire their employees to live a healthy and active life, combatting inactivity, burnout and chronic stress.

The employee wellness company says it is on a mission to transform workplaces across the globe into healthy spaces.

According to a statement, the undisclosed capital raise will contribute to speeding up software development, as the team further develops its holistic wellness platform.

Strove CEO Bruchhausen explains: “We are excited to have closed our funding round in a challenging funding environment. This raise allows us to further develop our product and service offering, as we strive towards our mission of improving the holistic wellbeing of employees around the world.”

After gaining a strong foothold in the South African market, the start-up announced its global expansion in June, setting up an office in the UK.

After going live with its first British customer shortly after the expansion, the company says it will increase the number of lives it reaches by scaling its digital technology.

The health-tech start-up is planning a substantial upgrade to its mental health offering, with richer content, cognitive behaviour therapy courses, and an in-app coaching feature.

Other updates include launching more activity tracking integrations, incorporating a recommendation engine to help personalise wellbeing guidance and continuous usability upgrades.

Lifetime Ventures invests in ambitious entrepreneurs to create businesses with a lasting impact. The VC firm says its strategic partnership with Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, Asia's scientific research institution, opens up exciting collaboration opportunities for the future.

"COVID-19 has highlighted deteriorating employee wellbeing and a strong need for holistic well-being programmes,” says Koshu Kunii, general partner of Lifetime Ventures.

“We see a global corporate future where most companies provide group-based employee well-being programmes as part of holistic employee benefits to support employees from the prevention phase. With strong C-level and execution to date, we know Strove will be a leading player in this market."