St. John’s telehealth startup Cyno has secured $2.3 million in all-equity seed funding led by Pelorus Venture Capital.
The financing also saw participation from existing strategic angels and experienced tech-sector entrepreneurs and executives, though Cyno declined to disclose the investors’ identities.
“It really isn’t right that everyone doesn’t have direct and fast access to a health expert who could provide life altering guidance.”
– Peter Barbour
Sarah Murphy, partner at Pelorus Ventures, has joined Cyno’s board of directors along with Nick Janes, vice president of product management at Verafin; and Terry Power, former CEO of Medisys Health Group.
Founded in 2017 by CEO Peter Barbour, Cyno provides a virtual care platform that enables employees to search, book, and meet with health and wellness providers virtually. Users can choose between Cyno’s one-on-one services, where they can directly connect with a certified wellness provider; or access the platform’s group experiences, allowing them to socialize with others through different activities such as group workouts and team building events.
Cyno currently offers over 250 different virtual health services in its virtual marketplace, including mental health counseling, personal training, nutrition consultations, financial coaching, art therapy, and many others. The healthtech startup claims that there are currently 15,000 employees with access to its platform and there have been over 10,000 health sessions booked in the last year.
Barbour got the idea of creating Cyno after hearing about the excessive wait times for health experts that his family members were experiencing while living in rural Newfoundland.
“I came to the realization that equal and comprehensive access to expert health advice has many barriers,” said Barbour. “Whether the barrier is geography, cost, wait times, or various types of inadequate insurance coverage, it really isn’t right that everyone doesn’t have direct and fast access to a health expert who could provide life altering guidance.”
Backed by over $2 million in new capital, Cyno intends to increase its team headcount and expand its offering across North America. Barbour told Entrevestor that some of the money will also go towards bolstering Cyno’s privacy protection and encryption processes. With a current employee base of 12, Barbour said he plans to hire another 12 to 15 employees this year, targeting developers and salespeople.
A member of St John’s-based incubator Genesis, Cyno raised more than $1 million in 2019. In September of that year, the startup closed a $600,000 pre-seed round from local investors, with the rest of the funding coming from the federal government’s Atlantic Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Cyno has also participated in Propel’s Incite program. With the $2.3 million, Cyno’ total funding to date is $3.3 million
Cyno closed its seed round amid a burgeoning Canadian telehealth sector. Dialogue, which was founded in 2016, filed to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in March last year, raising $100 million in its initial public offering.
Toronto’s Insig received a $5.94 million strategic investment from Vancouver-based WELL Health in 2020, which also included a partnership to launch a digital health communications platform for WELL patients and healthcare providers called VirtualClinic+. Maple has also pushed more into the employee virtual care space with its acquistion of Wello earlier this year.
Featured image courtesy of Cyno