Speedinvest Blog

Investing in Kianava: Europe’s First Full-Stack Chronic Care Provider

by 

Felix Faltin

November 23, 2020
Check out www.kianava.de

Tackling chronic disease: The #1 health challenge in Europe and beyond

We’re thrilled to announce our lead investment in Kianava, a Berlin-based holistic medical care provider for people with chronic conditions.

Helping people overcome or manage chronic conditions is the single biggest medical and financial challenge for health systems globally. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is a case in point. According to the Robert Koch Institut (Germany’s CDC), 40% of Germans suffer from chronic health conditions, such as digestive issues, cardiovascular diseases or chronic depression. The cost of care for these three groups of conditions alone amounts to €132 billion each year, in Germany alone.

Many people suffering from these conditions are underserved and shuttle back and forth between specialists, at a high cost to themselves and the public. They often end up frustrated, receiving unnecessary or inappropriate treatments. Many simply accept defeat. As a result, in one of the most advanced countries on Earth, we are often forced to accept mediocre quality of life for patients and high costs of care.

We’re proud to partner with Saman, Kian and Arnaud, who founded Kianava to fix the state of chronic care in Germany and beyond. This ambition had us hooked from the first day we met. We’re especially proud that the investment in Kianava was done by the Speedinvest Subscriptions & Health team together with the Marketplaces & Consumer team around Mathias Ockenfels to leverage our expertise in both of these areas.

Kianava delivers multidisciplinary, holistic medical coaching online

The company delivers the entire treatment pathway online with full responsibility for quality and results.

Uniquely in the world of European virtual care providers, Kianava helps people with chronic conditions win back their health and wellbeing with a holistic, whole-body therapeutic plan delivered by a multidisciplinary team of experts. This move away from siloed medical treatment allows for the combination of the latest in standard medicine with evidence-based behavioral approaches, such as mind-body medicine and a strong focus on sleep, nutrition and stress management.

Based on a comprehensive medical checkup, patients receive their personalized six-month holistic care plan. Patients are then coached along the way by doctors and therapists via video calls and chats, both 1:1 and in group sessions. This support is then enhanced by a rich offering of web-based content and treatment recommendations.

One of the advantages of this approach is that it does not limit Kianava’s target market to a small subset of indications. The very idea of holistic medicine is that the roots of chronic health problems — from a rash to complex oncological co-morbidities — often trace back to very basic behavioral problems around nutrition, sleep, stress, mindfulness and physical activity.

Why we invested

Team: Experienced executors with stellar track records and intrinsic motivation. In digital health, as in other areas, we look for big vision, proven execution capabilities and strong intrinsic motivation. Saman, Kian and Arnaud have each had formative personal health experiences and are well-connected members of the startup ecosystem. Saman is a veteran start-up operator who helped scale 8fit to >20M users as part of the management team. Kian managed large financial service mergers before working as a go-to COO for several tech ventures. Arnaud is a seasoned CTO and built the tech behind Lieferheld (acquired by Delivery Hero), Salonmeister (acquired By Treatwell) and Zenjob. The founders are complemented by a team of senior medical professionals and a seasoned medical advisory board.

Huge market, pain point and revenue potential. Commercial success in Digital Health hinges on solving big problems for a big number of people — and a realistic path to reimbursement. For anyone living with chronic diseases, improving their condition is probably a top three life priority. Insurers are aching under the financial burden of chronic disease treatment. Germany is making rapid advances in new reimbursement models for digital care and we’re confident that Kianava will be able to demonstrate strong cost- and outcome-effectiveness, to payors.

Image for post
Chronic disease accounts for the lions share of health costs in the US and Europe
(Source: CDC 2020)

Virtual care > offline care. In tech-language, Kianava is an integrated virtual care provider. This is a new category in Europe, but trailblazing players like Livongo-Teladoc or Omada Health have built this into a billion-dollar market in the US. We’re convinced that online care cannot just be an adequate replacement for offline, face-to-face care. It can actually be better. Telemedicine facilitates easier access, efficiency gains via asynchronous communication and improved information flows. 

More importantly, perhaps, virtual care can enable multidisciplinary collaboration in ways that are difficult to replicate offline, due to siloed communication and logistical constraints on bringing multiple professionals to work on individual patient cases. This opportunity is particularly big in the management of chronic conditions, which usually involve multi-professional, long-term treatment pathways with lots of communication break-points and drop-out risk.

We look forward to the ride!

Only a few months after our initial investment, Kianava have now onboarded their first paying patients. We’re excited to support this exceptional team on the path to a better care experience in a huge, underserved market.

If you, like millions of others, have a chronic health issue — make sure you get a check-up at www.kianava.de.

By the way: we 💖 Digital Health startups…

… and Marketplaces & Consumer!


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