Offering financial incentives for quitting smoking, Vincere Health raises $1.75M

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The company provides a CO device, and rewards members when they prove they’ve cut down on cigarettes

Nearly 5 trillion cigarettes are consumed each year around the world, contributing to more than 8 million deaths. And the numbers are increasing among young people, with youth tobacco use increasing in 63 countries, so that now more than 50 million of those aged 13 to 15 either smoke cigarettes or use smokeless tobacco products. 

Vincere Health‘s solution to this problem is to combine clinical coaching, connected devices, and rewards for people who can prove they’ve cut down on their smoking habit. The company provides its users with a handheld carbon monoxide monitoring device for tobacco intake verification; when they blow into the CO device and can illustrate a reduction in cigarettes smoked, users are rewarded financially.

On Wednesday, the Boston-based company announced an oversubscribed $1.75 million funding round from Inception Health, the innovation arm of the Froedtert & the Medical College in Wisconsin health network, with participation by BrightEdge, as well as existing investors including SixThirty Ventures, Flare Capital, and Trevor Fetter.

This follows the $3 million round that Vincere raised almost exactly one year ago, and the company says it has now doubled it valuation from that previous round.  

When someone signs up for the platform, they receive a Vincere Quit Kit, which includes the  breath monitor that is connected to their profile; in addition, they will also be paired with a personal coach who has specialized training in tobacco cessation, behavior change, and motivational support. The Health Coaches helping the patients establish a change routine, and they also help enlist allies and learn how to communicate with family or friends who smoke.

Vincere’s technology tracks the user’s progress so that once they complete a task, such as completing a breath test, a coaching session, a lesson, exercise or community participation, they are given their reward.

The company says its platform has been able to show a 17% reduction in carbon monoxide levels and a 52% biochemically verified quit rate post program. It has a particular focus on smoking cessation for individuals who are low income, in remote rural settings, and in minority population groups; over 75% of those whp the company has treated have been Medicaid members. Among this population, the company says it have achieved compliance rates in excess of 62% and quit rates in excess of 40% for complex populations.

“We’re particularly excited about Vincere’s work in advancing health equity and expanding novel smoking-cessation services to underserved communities,” Alice Pomponio, managing director of BrightEdge, said in a statement.

“Our involvement in this seed round is consistent with our mission to defeat cancer from every angle and nicely complements our existing investments by adding cancer-prevention and tobacco-control services to our portfolio.”

(Image source: vincere.health)

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