Mobio Interactive – March 26
Mobio Interactive builds software to prevent, measure, and treat mental illness. MI’s first digital therapeutic, Am Mindfulness (Am), is a clinically validated, self-assessing, and self-learning healthtech stack with which patients securely and privately interact through their mobile devices from anywhere in the world, and independently of a wearable. Am is the only meditation app to defeat placebo in multiple RCTs, contains the world’s most accurate neural network for the objective quantification of stress via a selfie video, and is available in English, Mandarin, Dutch, and German. MI is engaged in a number of government-, philanthropist- and industry-funded multi-centre and multinational clinical trials in the field of psycho-oncology – one of the largest stress-impacted patient populations.
MI have published clinical validation, produced technology, and have business traction. They are currently negotiating three partnerships with multinational pharmaceutical companies to market and distribute their platform as a treatment for stress-related disorders and cancer, specifically prostate and breast. They anticipate the revenues from these deals will make the company profitable in 2020 as, in 2019, the Am Mindfulness app experienced 12% organic month-over-month growth.
Currently their biggest hurdle is allowing their new users to quickly understand the value of the product. As people persist with the product, they become attached and begin to use it regularly. The bottleneck is getting new users to that stage. The MI team have spent months collecting data on user behaviour through the app and will rely on the most preferred features of the application to make their unique value clear to users quickly during a new onboarding process. UX and UI hires in the coming months will help push this over the finish line.
Insurers and pharmaceutical companies are eager to work with MI because they have demonstrated clinical validation and have a special ability to provide objective data on wellbeing, independently from any wearable. Their scalable and effective tech is very unique and truly places them in a class of our own when it comes to these types of B2B deals.
All the founding team members bring a track-record of successes to the company in the respective roles they accomplish.
Dr. Bechara Saab, CEO – Bechara aligns the company under a single vision rooted in neuroscience. He is also an organizational wizard with experience running teams of up to 500, and has implemented specific software-based mechanisms that drive excellence at MI. Moreover, as a former Principal Investigator of the Zurich Psychiatric Hospital with over 35 published peer-reviewed articles commanding well over 1,000 citations, Bechara brings credibility to the company that opens doors with insurance and pharma clients, and ensures MI can collaborate with any hospital or university throughout the world to undertake their important clinical trials. His knowledge of neuroscience also makes him uniquely qualified to tackle the problems inherent to digital psychotherapy. His strong commitment to evidence-driven progress has permeated throughout the company and forms a firm foundation on which a massive organization can be built.
Avetis Muradyan, CTO – A boy genius coder, he is responsible for MI’s software development and technology integration, including computer vision and machine learning algorithms. Prior to Mobio Interactive, he cofounded and served as CTO for two proptech startups in Shanghai and brings solid startup experience to MI in terms of lean product development, as well fast hiring, managing requirements, and iterative data-driven design.
Mark Thoburn, CDO – Mark applies service design thinking to patient care in order to integrate mind-body interventions into their journey. Mark studied design at OCAD University in Toronto and was the 2017 Ontario Brain Institute neurotech “ONtrepreneur”. Mark’s unique background in written and documentary journalism undertaken in more than twelve countries on three continents brings a global experience of understanding people. In addition to helping MI succeed commercially, Mark is dedicated to making a difference in the world, particularly with respect to patient care.
MI has, so far, raised $550,000 USD up to pre-seed. They are currently closing an additional $1.5 M through a seed round. These raised funds will be used for sales efforts, and deep tech and product development.
MI’s primary revenue focus is on B2B sales – specifically, high-volume bundling deals with health insurers and Rx + DTx licensing deals with pharmaceutical companies.
They are signing bundling agreements with health insurers. The health insurers include the app, Am Mindfulness, within their policies so that the policyholders are able to use Am for free (or at a substantial discount). In addition to being able to provide their policyholders with an added-value, MI is able to provide the health insurers with medically-relevant data. They have signed a reseller agreement in China which effectively outsources their China sales activities to a company with closer ties to local insurers. Their first client via their reseller has confirmed a bundling deal with the company in March, 2020 and they will launch to their policyholders in Hong Kong in April, 2020.
Second, MI licenses their tech stack to pharmaceutical companies. These deals consist of an upfront payment to cover the development costs required to customize Am so that it seamlessly pairs with one or more pharmaceutical(s) in their portfolio. Customization may enable the unlocking of specific content and features when the patient or physician provides key information. After development, MI obtains funds to conduct a phase III or phase IV clinical trial in partnership with the pharmaceutical company and their research and clinical partners around the world. These deals are structured such that MI generates revenue via both development and clinical overhead. The lion’s share of revenues from these deals however are intended to flow from royalties on all sales of the Rx + DTx pairing. At this commercial stage, their pharmaceutical partners are rewarded with their own revenues on sales of the drug+software pairing made possible by collaborating with MI.
In both cases above, partnering allows MI to reach people/patients swiftly and without the need to spend millions on marketing campaigns. The margins on digital therapeutics, following regulatory approval and reimbursement, especially in the Rx + DTx context, are also orders of magnitude larger than anything that can be commanded en masse via the app stores. These large margins will be necessary to help MI internalize their clinical trials and pursue phase three of their business strategy, which truly expands the reach of digital therapeutics and helps establish a value-based healthcare economy.
As revenues from bundling and licensing create a profitable enterprise, MI will then refocus their revenue strategy to internalize as much of the value chain as possible. This means establishing an army of Medical Science Liaisons who specialize in digital therapeutics. From that point onward, the business model will be nearly identical to the major pharmaceutical companies of today (e.g. Novartis) with the exception that Mobio Interactive will exclusively provide digital interventions.
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