Digital Health

Why Project A is adding Digital Health as an investment theme

By Uwe Horstmann

With the announcement of three new investments and the presentation of the fantastic entrepreneurs behind our new portfolio companies Junomedical, Kry and Klara, Project A is set to enter a new phase, adding Digital Health as an investment theme to our already quite diverse palette. I’d like to share our reasoning for the expansion with you here.

When we started this company six years ago, we had a clear set of ideas. Even though much has changed since then, our vision remains as clear as ever: Project A wants to empower the leading digital entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We sincerely believe that this is not only about providing money, as good entrepreneurs will always have options when it comes to getting money. That’s why, as an additional ingredient, we continue to invest into building an infrastructure with over 100 full-time experts that are there to help our entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.

Germany Is Lagging Behind

We spent quite some time looking at the German market and learning a lot about its unique characteristics. We’re big fans of the social system in our home country. At the same time, we found that our health system is not very supportive of innovation and growth. We fully subscribe to the idea that we need to manage change carefully here as very sensitive issues — and ultimately people’s lives — are at stake. But we see other countries that are much more advanced than us when it comes to openness to trying new things. Hence, we have chosen to make our first three investments in companies that do not serve the German market. We hope this will change and we’re looking forward to discussing and engaging with all the relevant players in this field at home as well. After all, Germany is falling behind when it comes to job creation in innovative businesses and industries — a fact that we should be very aware of even in light of the general start-up euphoria that is so en vogue right now.

Venturing into Digital Health

One subject that is of particular interest to us is the change that digitalization is bringing to our health systems. Healthcare is obviously a huge, highly regulated and extremely complex market. But it’s also one that touches all of our lives. We are very aware that this will be very challenging and that success can only be reached at the end of a long and rocky road; but the rewards are high as well. It will not only be possible to build fantastic companies in that space in the coming years: we also are excited by the notion of driving actual change and being a tiny part of a big movement making better healthcare accessible to more people.

What Healthcare Investors Need to Bring to the Table

Healthcare entrepreneurs probably need bolder investors than entrepreneurs in other industries. It’s easy to dismiss the sector altogether a priori due to its complexities. We think there is a way forward and we’re going to dedicate ourselves to making it work by following a similar tact as when tackling other industries. In addition to capital and operational expertise, we are adding deep expertise in the sector and the benefits of a strong cluster of companies facing similar challenges. We’re looking forward to speaking with entrepreneurs from all over Europe and beyond, with a special focus on companies where our operational capabilities such as customer acquisition and retention, business intelligence, product development, sales, organization building and rollouts are an asset.

Empowered Patient Experience

We believe there is a way to make medical care much more in line with our modern lives. Why wait for weeks, and should everything be paper-based? Why have data silos and prevent health care providers from communicating among themselves and patients? It all comes down to an empowered patient experience. If we get the whole system to work more transparently, with less friction and more time to focus on actual understanding and healing, we will be making a significant contribution. We will continue to look for other businesses that provide similarly empowered patient experiences — if you have any ideas or know people active in that space, we’d love to have a chat! And be sure to check out the fantastic companies JunomedicalKry and Klara!