Japanese healthcare tech Ubie wants to fuel US expansion with $19M Series C expansion • TechCrunch
Ubie, a Tokyo-based startup that provides an AI-powered symptom checker app and SaaS hospital products, closed a $19 million extension to its previous Series C round. This brings the total funding for the $45.2 million Series C health-tech startup.
According to Ubie co-founder and CEO Kota Kuto, the extension round consists of 90% equity and 10% debt financing. With this round, Ubie has raised a total of $76 million since its inception in 2017.
The startup declined to comment on its company’s valuation, but a source familiar with the situation, who wished to remain anonymous, told TechCrunch that its valuation is now estimated at $250 million. Investors in the latest funding include Sogo Medical, AAIC Investment, Japan Impact Investment, Rakuten Capital, Shoko Chukin Bank, Japan Finance Corporation and Mizuho Bank.
Ubie plans to use the product to expand its healthcare platform and accelerate U.S. penetration after entering Singapore in August. The startup launched its symptom-checking app earlier this year in the US and opened a US subsidiary in October. Kuto told TechCrunch that Singapore’s medical system is similar to Japan’s given its geographic and cultural background, so the company decided that Singapore would be “a suitable first step for global expansion.”
The outlet is in talks with pharmaceutical companies to increase partnerships, many of which have offices on the East Coast, Kuto explained. It plans to finalize and announce a handful of partnership deals early next year, Kuto added.
Ubie isn’t the only health tech company developing an AI-enabled symptom checker for users. A Boston-based startup, Buoy Health, has created a symptom-checking app using AI; Berlin-based Ada Health has also developed an AI-based symptom assessment app; and IBM’s Mediktor helps people assess symptoms. Kuto pointed out, as a differentiator, that Ubie offers a B2B product called Ubie for Hospital, also known as AI Monshin, and a B2C app for individual users. The Ubie for hospitals, allowing doctors to reduce their time taking notes of patient history, is a medical questionnaire software allowing patients to have a preliminary interview via a tablet while waiting before meeting doctors.
“Based on data extracted from approximately 50,000 medical research articles [created by more than 50 physicisans]AI Monshin [automatically] selects and asks about 20 questions from 3,500 question data types,” Kota said.
Co-founded by physician Yoshinori Abe and engineer Kubo, Ubie claims that more than 1,100 medical institutions in Japan use Ubie’s Monshin AI. The company also has more than 7 million monthly active users (MAUs) of its symptom checker app. Ubie employs around 200 people.