American Coronary heart Affiliation backs $2M seed spherical for Bentonville startup Sober Sidekick
A Bentonville startup with a notable lead investor is sort of midway to finishing a $2 million seed funding spherical.
Chris Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Sidekick Cellular Applied sciences, stated the corporate has picked up $250,000 from world healthcare chief American Coronary heart Affiliation (AHA) via its Social Influence Fund.
“It’s validation from one of many greatest gamers in healthcare,” Thompson stated. “Doing the diligence that they [AHA] did and giving us that form of help means quite a bit. Particularly as we work with [other] large well being programs.”
Sidekick Cellular Applied sciences’ product is Sober Sidekick, a sobriety and restoration app on iOS and Android. The platform encourages behavioral well being shifts in substance abuse via guided peer-to-peer help. Amongst a number of options, it affords instantaneous nameless sober help from actual individuals.
“Sober Sidekick is disrupting the behavioral well being system by forcing it to work in the direction of long-term well being outcomes,” Thompson stated.
Thompson, 28, relocated to Northwest Arkansas from Los Angeles in early 2022. He launched the app in January 2019, just some months after ending 5 years of alcohol dependancy.
Sober Sidekick is pursuing higher well being outcomes and higher fairness for many who undergo from dependancy or substance use dysfunction (SUD), a recognized dysfunction that results in opposed well being outcomes.
In keeping with its web site, AHA’s Social Influence Fund represents a high-priority technique for the group to drive equitable well being and well-being for all, particularly via the lens of opposed social determinants of well being and associated structural inequity.
AHA is the funding spherical’s lead investor, however one other investor is Ikigai Progress Companions, a Denver-based enterprise capital agency that invests in early-stage healthcare firms.
Michael Brouthers began the fund in 2020. He was beforehand the CEO or a senior govt in a number of of the world’s largest healthcare payers, suppliers and IT corporations, together with United, Humana and Cigna.
That strategic partnership ought to get Sober Sidekick an viewers with different name-brand well being programs.
Thompson stated Ikigai’s dedication is $500,000. That’s along with varied angel traders who’re backing Sober Sidekick. Thompson referenced Ramsay Ball of Bentonville, who has an intensive background in actual property, personal funding and group growth.
Thompson stated Ball is “doubling down” on his funding.
“Ramsay is an fascinating a part of this story,” Thompson stated. “He bought me on Northwest Arkansas and pushed every thing occurring right here. His bullishness about Sober Sidekick and keenness for pushing this ahead is price noting. We wouldn’t be on this location if it weren’t for him.”
Sober Sidekick’s funding spherical is scheduled to shut on the finish of February. Thompson stated the monetary help would assist the corporate make some key hires and acquire extra adoption within the healthcare area by launching paid pilot applications with main well being programs. He lately met with the Division of Protection’s Protection Suicide Prevention Workplace (DSPO) a couple of attainable pilot program with Sober Sidekick.
It would additionally assist with an “aggressive” aim of reaching 1 million Sober Sidekick members by the top of 2023. The rising social community lately handed 150,000 members — it had lower than 10,000 in January 2021 — and has been downloaded by customers in additional than 150 nations.
“The truth that we did that with so little capital tells us that by being extra aggressive, we will hit 1 million members,” Thompson stated.