We announced our convertible note for Melon Health (formerly Social Code) on January 8th, and are now announcing our equity investment along the conversion of the note into equity.
Melon Health is a patient-centric software as a service business, providing patients (the end users), medical professionals and supporters with web and mobile apps. The service, which integrates with other patient care applications, helps with with tracking, remote monitoring, behaviour change and provides peer and professional support to patients. The healthcare outcomes so far have been excellent — this service changes lives. The results are already landing substantial customers and part of the investment will allow Melon Health to run medical trials to statistically demonstrate the efficacy of the service.
The service helps patients with chronic diseases, which can be controlled but not cured. These diseases account for 75% of dollars spent on healthcare, so reducing costs and improving patient outcomes is the challenge Melon Health is taking on and delivering.
Customers are very large businesses and government organisations that operate in the medical/health/life science sector, and include two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, an insurance company, health promotion agencies, a medical research institute and a cancer diagnostic company. Melon Health’s platform is software, not a device, and so is compliant with all of the key regualtors like FDA.
Lance has known the founder of Melon Health, Siobhan Bulfin, for many years, and sees that her defining quality is grit — the determination to make things succeed no matter what. Siobhan had asked Lance for advice about Melon Health and its predecessor a number of times over the years (Lance had also tried to invest previously), and this investment was spawned from another such conversation.
The investment was meant to be alongside an angel group and fund, but they are not present in the final deal after failing to complete before a deadline imposed by external events and Siobhan. Siobhan is persistent and very fair minded, but she is also tough and does not bluff – which luckily we already knew.
One existing investor, K1W1, did contribute to the round.
In all of our investments so far Punakaiki Fund has been the only investor, the largest investor or the lead investor in the round. After this experience we fully intend to continue with that approach.