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Digital start-up Cera doubles seed round to GBP2.7m


Cera, a technology-enabled homecare start-up, has secured an additional GBP1.4 million in seed funding, closing a total of GBP2.7 million in six months. 

Existing investor Credo Ventures, headquartered in Prague, led the round, alongside several new institutional investors including Paris-based Kima Ventures.
 
Co-founded a year ago by Dr Ben Maruthappu and Marek Sacha, Cera is a CQC-registered homecare provider that uses state-of-the-art technology to improve quality and efficiency, matching those needing social care with a highly experienced carer, at the right time, in the right place. Since its official launch in November 2016, Cera is now experiencing 40 per cent month-on-month growth.
 
Cera, which has already signed contracts with 10 NHS organisations over the past 10 weeks, will use the latest funding to kick-start additional partnerships with the NHS, better integrating health and social care services. The start-up will also use the investment for trialling AI technology, to help predict healthcare issues, based on carer feedback on whether a patient hasn’t been eating, has a fever, or isn’t walking normally, to pre-empt more serious illnesses, in addition to supporting carer decision-making.
 
The funding announcement comes as Cera reveals that investor Neil Colverd, former head of Americas for UniCredit bank and previously CEO of Brightwater Capital’s USD35 billion fund, has joined the team to boost the company’s fundraising efforts, with a particular focus on acquisitions and developing the platform’s international footprint.
 
Dr Ben Maruthappu, co-founder and president of Cera, says: “We are delighted to bring on additional investors with health, tech and financial expertise, to boost our development and growth as we reboot social care. In the past three months alone, we have signed partnerships with several NHS Trusts, Uber, insurers, food-tech companies and many others, scaling rapidly while delivering the highest standards of care.
 
“Cera is not just another on-demand service, but a holistic offering aiming to revolutionise the way care is delivered in the UK with a focus on quality, reliability and transparency. With our investors’ support and by bringing Neil Colverd on board we look forward to signing even more of these deals to increase the accessibility of our service and focus our efforts on further technological innovation.”
 
Andrej Kiska at Credo Ventures says: “Credo is backing Cera because we believe they have a huge opportunity to improve and advance the way that care is delivered across Europe. Ben and Marek have extremely impressive individual backgrounds in healthcare and technology respectively, and their teamwork is reflected in the progress that has been made in just six short months since the launch. We are proud to be a part of their journey and are confident that Cera will continue to scale incredibly quickly." 

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