Jude, a London-based startup focused on bladder health, has secured $4.24 million in a seed funding round. The capital is slated to aid the startup with international expansion plans, specifically eyeing the US market, as well as further developing the company's range of services aimed at promoting healthy aging and enhanced bladder health.
Jude's $4.24 million seed round was led by Eka VC and Joyance, with June Angelides at Samos VC and Dr. Fiona Pathiraja of Crista Galli Ventures continuing their support. Jude has also received a grant from Innovate UK, and existing backers include Access VC, Reckitt’s innovation fund, Echo Pharmacy founder Stephen Bourke, and David Rowan, founder at VOYAGERS and founding editor-in-chief of WIRED UK.
The global scale of bladder-related issues affects some 2.3 billion people worldwide. In so much, the market for bladder health surpasses that of diabetes, and it even eclipses the combined markets of menopause, erectile dysfunction, and endometriosis.
The raison d'être behind Jude is to reshape the entire clinical pathway within this substantial market segment, where patients often face limited solutions. Jude's vision encompasses improvements in diagnosis, treatment options, accessible services, and medication alternatives with minimal side effects.
The road forward
A portion of the seed round is aimed directly at supporting Jude's plans to enter the US market through retail channels by year-end, followed by a direct-to-consumer launch in early 2024. In tandem, Jude intends to expand its product and service portfolio by introducing symptom tracking, and prescription services, and press forward with research in the domain of nutrition and urinary health.
Launched in January 2022, according to the company, Jude has already served some 16,000 customers, introduced a natural treatment for lower urinary tract issues, launched a dedicated support hotline, and has collaborated with healthcare institutions such as Southampton University Hospital, West Suffolk NHS Trust, and the London Menopause Clinic.
Through their digital subscription services, Jude is poised to offer a holistic approach to treatment, tailored through personalized consultations and conveniently delivered to customers' doorsteps.
A better future
Founder Peony Li, formerly head of investments at Founders Factory and head of operations at Daye, has a deeply personal connection to Jude's mission. Having suffered from chronic bladder infections since a young age, her experiences, and the lack of adequate attention to her condition, have driven her determination to make a positive impact through Jude's initiatives.
"We know women’s health suffers from chronic underfunding and a lack of research, there’s little medication and not enough training for healthcare professionals in bladder health specifically. We want to make the entire journey - from symptom to solution - better for people with poor bladder health.
This investment will be critical in us achieving this mission, and expanding our services to the US, where 75 million people struggle with these issues. I’m incredibly happy to welcome Eka Ventures and Joyance - who are aligned on our healthcare mission - and to continue our partnership with Samos VC."
Lead image via Jude