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Malaysia-based healthtech startup Naluri Hidup today announced an approximately MYR1 million (US$250,000) in seed funding round from Singapore-based healthcare analytics company BioMark and 500 Startups’ Southeast Asia-focussed fund 500 Durians.

The new funding will be used to complete product development as well as commercial and clinical trials with the startup’s industry partners.

“Our goal is for clinical trials to be completed this year, to enable the follow-up funding based on the results of the trials. Our platform will start as primarily a B2B platform for our partners (insurance companies, corporate employers, and hospitals) and we are expecting to launch our first trial with the platform by the first quarter of this year,” Naluri co-founder Azran Osman-Rani told e27 in an email.

Co-founded in mid-2017 by Osman-Rani, Dr. Jeremy Ting and Dr. Hariyati Abdul Majid, Naluri is a platform that connect users with dedicated health psychologists.

They provide personalised coaching and use evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing techniques to strengthen users’ mental resilience and resolve to achieve and sustain better health outcomes such as weight loss, better stress management, or reduction in blood pressure or blood sugar levels.

As a B2B platform, it works with insurers, employers, and hospitals to offer a health psychology-based preventive health programme for at-risk policyholders and employees, and a rehabilitative programme for chronic illness patients.

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In addition to connecting users with health psychologists, users are also able to access chat feature to connect them with certified dietitian, medical advisor, executive coach, fitness coach, and a peer support group. The platform also includes photo food journal, thought journal, weekly planner, and a weight monitoring feature.

Osman-Rani explained that the founding of the company was inspired by the loss of a family member to a preventable chronic disease.

“Existing solutions like corporate wellness programmes, wearables, diet programmes, and gym memberships have low retention rates. Many drop out because of mental resilience factors like self-esteem and confidence, stress and mental fatigue, and a lack of lifestyle problem-solving support,” he said.

“There are models in developed markets that are achieving success with comprehensive online support for chronic disease users, but we see an opportunity to localise it for emerging markets with language, lifestyle culture, spiritual support to have better engagement for the mass market,” he added.

As for the target market for the product, the startup sees an opportunity across Southeast Asia and other emerging market.

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