Glasgow healthcare data start-up secures £622,000 funding for growth

Glasgow healthcare data start-up, Talking Medicines, founded by Jo Halliday, Scott Crae and Elizabeth Fairley, has secured its first institutional investment as part of a new funding round worth £622,000 to support the next stage of its growth.

Founded in 2013, Talking Medicines has developed and launched the Medsmart  App which can help patients better manage their medicines at home. Aimed at ensuring medicines are taken at the right time, in the right way and for the correct duration, Medsmart transforms complex information for medicines into easy to understand content for the user.

Talking Medicine’s latest funding round was led by SIS Ventures, and included investment from private investors and founders of the business, as well as the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

It is the third seed investment round to have been successfully completed by the business. This takes the amount raised by the company to £1.2M for Medsmart over the past two years.

This round of investment will support the company’s growth plans across the technical development of both the Medsmart tools and the data mining capabilities to accelerate growth in the UK and globally.

Jo Halliday, founder and chief executive of Talking Medicines commented: “This latest investment round demonstrates the growing support around the vision of enriching the experience of patients and understanding how their medicines are being taken. The Medsmart® App is in the 30,000-50,000 download bracket and the data insights are being accessed by marketing teams from a number of pharmaceutical clients. We have a vision to open up the traditional data model for the pharmaceutical industry and today marks an important milestone in that journey.”

For SIS Ventures, the mission-led investment arm of responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS), investment in Talking Medicines marks the first equity investment to be made by the firm’s Impact First fund, a private investor fund launched in 2018 to support Scotland’s high impact enterprises.

Benefiting from both Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief and Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), Impact First will eventually offer investors a portfolio of between six and twelve high-growth potential, high-impact enterprises which aim to tackle a clearly identifiable social problem with a scalable and disruptive business solution.

Thomas Gillan, director, SIS Ventures, said: “We’re delighted to have made our first investment in such a purpose-led, impact-focused business as Talking Medicines. Although still a young company, Talking Medicines has established strong initial traction with consumers, pharmaceutical companies and the investor community. Working with Jo and the team, we’re looking forward to supporting them on their journey to becoming the global gold standard for real world insights on consumer usage of medicines.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of SIB, commented: “This deal represents an exciting progression in the growth of Talking Medicines. Scottish Enterprise has supported the company throughout its evolution through account management, SMART: SCOTLAND innovation support and Jo’s participation in the Unlocking Ambition challenge. We are delighted to support Talking Medicines’ long term ambitions to establish a high growth business with a clear social conscience that will benefit our communities.”

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