Zhiyun Health Raises CNY 1 Billion for Diabetes Care
COVID-19 and China
A person using mobile app to monitor his blood glucose. Image Credit: Dexcom

Zhejiang-based medical online platform Zhiyun Health (智云健康), announced it has carried out a combined of funding round of Series C+ and D, worth CNY 1 billion (equivalent to USD 142 million). Whereas its funding round C+ was led by China Merchants Bank (招商银行) subsidiary CMB International, with participation from investment firm Oriental Patron (东英金融) and South-Korean based venture capital LB Investment, round D was led by China US-headquartered venture capital firm SIG SUSQUEHANNA (海纳亚洲创投基金), Beijing-based data center CEC (中电数据) and existing investor Samsung electronics.

Founded in 2014 by Kuang Ming (匡明), a graduate of Cambridge University, Zhiyun Health offers a one-stop online health management service. The company has developed an app allowing patients to record and track their health data and obtain advice from the program, while doctors can gain data in visualized form and make treatment adjustments according to a patient’s current status.

The App also provides an oriented and personalized diabetes program for diabetic patients to easily monitor and manage their blood glucose data. Moreover, it offers extra services, including advice on medication, diet, exercise and online shopping malls. 

So far, the company has been through nine financing events. Among them, six disclosed funding rounds were worth more than CNY 2 billion  (equivalent to over USD 280 million).

Few startup companies that provide online healthcare services with a primary focus on chronic diseases like diabetes have managed to raise a significant amount of cash on their financing events – or, in the end, they don't raise money at all. Counterparts include Beijing-based online diabetes platform Dnurse (糖护士), whose last funding was four years ago. Dnurse only managed to raised CNY 10 million from China Growth Capital (华创资本). However, American-based rival Metavention has raised a total of USD 130 million, accounting for two funding rounds.

According to a report published in 2019 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), they estimated that one in eleven adults between 20-79 years had diabetes, which represented 463 million people worldwide. Meanwhile, one in two adults with diabetes remained undiagnosed – which is around 232 million people. 

The report also states that China is first among the top ten countries with citizens with diabetes between 20-70 years. The country has nearly 120 million people who have diabetes, and expenditure was estimated at around USD 110 billion, or USD 916 per person. The United States had about 30 million people with diabetes but spent nearly USD 300 billion on diabetes-related health services.

Taking these two variables into consideration, diabetes patient in the US spend around USD 10,000, and Chinese patients spend USD 916 on diabetes-related health services. This represent a significant  gap between China and the US in terms of diabetes expenditure.

Nevertheless, the high number of people with diabetes in China is certainly making the market more attractive, as demand may increase in the future and more investments may be catalyzed into chronic disease treatment for ailments like diabetes.

Editor: Luke Sheehan
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