Pillo Health Closes $11 Million Funding Round Led by Stanley Ventures, Will Launch Pria Solution by Black+Decker in 2019

Pillo Health announced recently that it had closed $11 million in new funding led by Stanley Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund within Stanley, Black & Decker. The announcement also says that Samsung Ventures was involved with “significant participation…Existing investors, including BioAdvanceHikma Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC,…Hackensack Meridien Health System’s Innovation Center Fund and Civilization Ventures, also participated.”

Pitchbook data show that the new financing brings Pillo Health’s total funding to date to about $17 million. Previous funding rounds included $1.5 million in February 2017, $2.5 million in November 2017, and $1.5 million after completing the Mass Challenge incubator in late 2017. The balance was made up of grants, accelerator participation, a $250,000 investment by Hackensack Meridian Health System in June 2018, and a $250,000 angel round in 2015. The company also executed a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo in 2016 that raised about $120,000. That project looks to have finally shipped about 91 devices as of December 2018 after missing the planned July 2017 product launch.

An Automated Pill Dispenser for Medication Adherence

Pillo’s primary use case is helping patients adhere to regular medication plans associated with chronic illness. The company cites data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that says 6-in-10 Americans live with a chronic condition and then implies many of those patients do not faithfully follow their medication regimens leading to wasted cost and higher mortality rates. The Pillo device incorporates voice assistant access and a touch screen that includes medication management as well as other features such as nutritional information, daily check-ins, and notifications to caregivers and family members if a scheduled medication is missed. It also includes facial identification of the patient for security.

The company has stripped out much of its original website content and appears to be solely focused on providing devices as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to other device makers. According to the announcement, “Pillo Health offers partner organizations an engaging in-home interface and HIPAA-compliant technology platform to create customized voice-first health and wellness experiences.” One of those partners is apparently Stanley, Black & Decker. The announcement also says that a Pillo lookalike, Pria by Black+Decker, will launch sometime in 2019.

Stanley Demonstrated a Pillo Lookalike at CES

Stanley Black & Decker introduced Pria, a device with an identical design and seemingly similar functional footprint at CES 2019. The key difference was that Pria, at the time, did not have an onboard voice assistant. Pillo in its latest demonstration video puts voice access up front by saying, “Better health begins with two words: Okay Pillo,” which is followed by the device’s screen waking up and ready for further voice interaction. Pria seems to have added this functionality since then and it is also prominently featured on OKpria.com, Black+Decker’s website for the product.

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