ACTO, an omnichannel education and engagement platform for life sciences companies, closed on an $11.5 million Series A round of funding.
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The Toronto-based company works with more than 60 drug and medical device manufacturers, such as AstraZeneca, Teleflex and Philips Respironics, on their brand strategies, outreach tactics and patient journey messages.
Resolve Growth Partners led the Series A with participation from new investor Salesforce Ventures, 1 as well as follow-on investment from existing investor Panache Ventures. Including the new funding, ACTO, founded in 2014, has secured a total of $14.1 million, Parth Khanna, co-founder and CEO, told Crunchbase News. This included a $1.8 million combined seed round raised in 2018 and 2019, according to Crunchbase data.
The new funding will be used for product development, such as accelerating the creation of a commercial learning and development portfolio, as well as expanding ACTO’s customer base of health care providers and strategic acquisitions, Khanna said.
“Over the last several years, we were working to gain access to health care providers and helping understand the mindshare of sales reps promoting drugs,” he added. “Now with COVID-19, all of this is magnified. The question is how to find the new, creative and virtual ways to engage stakeholders.”
ACTO uses artificial intelligence-powered mobile experiences to educate and engage key stakeholders in the life sciences ecosystem, while giving senior commercial and clinical leaders real-time business insights.
The company also is launching a series of new capabilities designed to virtually engage and support frontline health workers. Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers can now use conversational AI to easily access the specifications and clinical information for both drugs and medical devices, ensuring that patients receive the best possible care and rapidly benefit from new treatments.
Meanwhile, ACTO continues to grow. From 2018 to 2019, the company’s revenue jumped 297 percent and another 150 percent between 2019 and 2020. Khanna expects a similar theme this year. The company has 85 employees in Toronto, Boston, Raleigh, North Carolina, and India. It is also looking at establishing a presence in Minneapolis. The plan is to have 100 employees by the end of the year. Similarly, the company is poised to have 100 customers by next year, he said.
In addition, ACTO is releasing a new product in January that will include an AI assistant.
“With the omnichannel approach, we are eyeing a solid run this year,” Khanna said. “We are helping the industry rediscover itself in the new normal. Life sciences has been slow to change, but health care is on everyone’s minds now, and pharma and device companies are answering the call of duty.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias