CoFounder sat down to speak with mySugr co-founder Fredrik Debong about the early days of the leading diabetes management platform, its first successes, and the effect of last summer’s acquisition by pharmaceuticals giant Roche.
On 30 June, Roche said it had agreed to buy the business, with more than a million users, making it a key part of Roche’s new patient-centred digital health services platform in diabetes care.
This speeds things up tremendously,” said Debong in the interview. “They have been around since 1896. What we can learn is just enormous.
The 2012-founded mySugr specialises in all-round care for people with diabetes. Its apps and services combine diabetes coaching, therapy management, unlimited test-strips, automated data tracking and integrate with a growing number of medical devices to ease the daily burden of living with diabetes.
As a focal point for Roche’s integrated diabetes management strategy, mySugr is set to remain as a separate legal entity, with an open platform for all diabetes devices and services. Users will continue to have the ability to automatically upload blood glucose data from their preferred device into the mySugr logbook app, as well as facilitated data sharing with healthcare professionals and caregivers.
Early investors include business angel “Hansi” Hansmann, iSeed Ventures and Roche Venture Fund. At the time of the acquisition, mySugr had offices in San Diego, California, and Vienna, Austria, with 47 employees across both locations. The app is available in 52 countries and 13 languages.
Fredrik Debong, a type 1 diabetic himself, said the company was built on personal need. There were no neat solutions available when he started to look for one in 2010. The app boom had started, but solutions for diabetics were not there.
“Keeping track is really hard – you have to stay focused 24-7, there are no vacations,” he said.
With the acquisition, the Roche global network should help mySugr reach hundreds of millions of diabetics around the world.
We are excited about this agreement, as we will be able to offer seamlessly-accessible patient solutions within an open platform to better respond to the unmet needs of people with diabetes. Our aim is to support people with diabetes to spend more time in their ideal glucose target range and improve their quality of life,” said Roland Diggelmann, CEO of Roche Diagnostics. “Having partnered with mySugr since 2014, we see an excellent cultural fit. Both our companies are passionate about taking diabetes management to the next level and making a difference in managing diabetes.
We started mySugr to solve our everyday problems and simplify diabetes therapy through smartphones,” said Frank Westermann, CEO and Co-Founder of mySugr. “The mySugr team has filled a gap for over a million loyal users so far. With Roche’s diabetes expertise and global network, mySugr will become an indispensable companion for a hassle-free life.