SoftBank Leads $80 Million Round in Digital Health Startup

SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund 2 led an $80 million investment in Pear Therapeutics Inc., a startup developing prescription software applications aimed at treating substance use disorders, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.

Existing investors Temasek Holdings Pte, 5AM Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, Jazz Venture Partners, Novartis AG, CrimsoNox and EDBI also joined the Series D round, the Boston, Massachusetts-based startup said in a statement. Forth Management, Pilot House, Sarissa Capital, Shanda Group Pte, and Quad Investment Management took part as first-time investors in the company.

While SoftBank’s original $100 billion fund became synonymous with outsized bets on companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and WeWork, its successor has been much more modest with $2.6 billion of investments so far. The Vision Fund 2 has also focused more on health tech, the biggest category in its 13-startup portfolio as of the end of September. Its other biotech investments include blood-testing startup Karius Inc. and artificial intelligence drug researcher XtalPi Inc.

“This oversubscribed round of funding will allow us to continue to invest in the launches of our three commercial products to accelerate revenue growth, which we intend to reinvest in our robust pipeline and platform,” Pear Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer Corey McCann said in the statement.

Pear is developing so-called prescription digital therapeutics, apps that help patients stick with their treatment and make it easier for doctors to track their progress. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved the company’s treatments for substance use, opioid use and insomnia. Pear’s development pipeline also includes products for schizophrenia, irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. The company said it will use the financing to accelerate reimbursement coverage for its three commercial products.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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