Bridges-backed Unforgettable raises new £2.25m funding round
- McKesson Ventures, the VC arm of the largest healthcare company in the US, is leading the new round
- Cash injection will allow UK-based social business to accelerate growth, launch products on High Street, develop a range of new products and build a platform for international growth
- Investment supported by Unforgettable’s existing backers, Bridges and Impact Ventures UK, and brings its total raised to £3.8m
Unforgettable.org (‘Unforgettable’) – a pioneering online platform that provides life-changing products and community support to those living with dementia – has raised a second round of funding, totalling £2.25m.
This new round has been led by McKesson Ventures, the venture capital arm of McKesson, the oldest and largest healthcare company in the US. Bridges and Impact Ventures UK, Unforgettable’s existing investors, are also supporting the round and will remain as active investors.
Dementia presents one of the greatest social challenges of our generation. There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and the total is likely to hit 1 million by 2020. Globally, there are already 47 million people living with dementia; this number is expected to rise to 135 million by 2050.
Unforgettable aims to become the ‘go-to’ resource for anyone affected by dementia. The company is the brainchild of founder James Ashwell, who spent seven years at home caring for his mother after she was diagnosed with early-onset dementia. He found the experience so challenging – dominated by confusion, stress and loneliness – that he set himself the challenge of launching the world’s best platform for dementia-related products and support.
The £2.25m cash injection will allow Unforgettable to accelerate its already impressive growth, by launching products on the High Street, developing a range of new products, and building a platform for international growth.
James Ashwell, Founder, Unforgettable, says: “The market is broken. There are 750,000 births a year in the UK with a vast range of brands and shops available that cater to the baby market. Yet, there are 225,000 new cases of dementia a year and there is not one brand, high street shop or trusted online retailer catering to the daily challenges of those affected by dementia… We are on a mission to make simple, affordable solutions accessible to those affected by dementia on a global scale. Our partnership with McKesson Ventures will allow us to deliver this this faster.”
James approached Bridges with the idea for Unforgettable in 2013. Bridges incubated the business with funding from the Bridges Impact Foundation (then the Bridges Charitable Trust), helping James develop a business plan and recruit a strong management team. In 2015, Unforgettable raised a successful first round of seed capital from the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund and Impact Ventures UK.
As such, this is one of the first examples of a UK-based social start-up that was incubated and supported by social investors going on to secure investment from a mainstream international VC – a notable milestone for the UK social investment sector.
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT UNFORGETTABLE (https://www.unforgettable.org)
Unforgettable is a company on a mission to improve the lives of all those affected by dementia and memory loss. They provide life-changing dementia products to help people with dementia to do the things that we all take for granted. Despite 87% of the UK believing no product exist to help with the condition, Unforgettable has over 1,000 cleaver and simple solutions on their site together with empowering advice and an online community. Launched in 2015 by James Ashwell following his journey with his mother’s dementia, Unforgettable is a socially business with B-Corp certification and gives 10% of its profits to charity. Since its inception, Unforgettable has won various awards including Outstanding Innovation in Dementia Care 2016, NOMINET’s 100 Most Inspiring Tech for Good Companies and UK’s best Aging start-up.
ABOUT MCKESSON VENTURES (www.mckessonventures.com)
McKesson Ventures is the venture capital arm of McKesson Corporation specializing in early and growth stage companies. McKesson Ventures targets companies that both catalyze and benefit from the key changes taking place in the U.S. health care landscape. McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 5th on the FORTUNE 500, is a health care services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of health care run better. We work with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that help deliver better care to patients in every setting.
ABOUT BRIDGES FUND MANAGEMENT (www.bridgesfundmanagement.com)
Bridges Fund Management (formerly Bridges Ventures) is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investment, with offices in London and New York. Since 2002, the firm has raised over £800m to invest in high-impact SMEs, properties and social sector organisations that are helping to solve some of society’s biggest challenges. Bridges originally incubated Unforgettable through the Bridges Impact Foundation (formerly the Bridges Charitable Trust), and has led its growth capital funding rounds through the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund.
ABOUT IMPACT VENTURES UK (www.impactventuresuk.com)
Impact Ventures UK (IVUK) is an award winning £36 million impact investment fund. It was launched by LGT Impact in association with Berenberg and with a cornerstone investment from Big Society Capital. IVUK’s diverse investor base includes UK and European institutional investors, asset owners and private clients, reflecting the appeal of the fund across different sources of capital. IVUK invests in enterprises that create long-term social impact for disadvantaged people and communities in the UK as well as generate a financial return.