According to reports, startups established exclusively by female entrepreneurs receive only a small portion of the total venture capital (VC) funding. However, the proportion of VC funding allocated to startups founded solely by women is experiencing a significant increase compared to the figures from 2022. In 2022, funding for female-founded companies accounted for a mere 0.9% of the total capital invested. Nonetheless, this figure has risen notably to 1.6% in the ongoing year of 2023.
Amsterdam-based female-founded Pal tackles the pressing social issue of untimely and insufficient palliative care for people with life-limiting illnesses. Now, Pal has closed €300k in pre-seed funding from Silicon Valley-based investor Plug and Play Ventures, several angel investors, and Rabobank through the infusion of the Rabo Innovation Loan.
The new funding accelerates the launch of Pal’s digital palliative care solution, tackling long-standing healthcare challenges to improve access to affordable and timely palliative care. It will also improve access to at-home palliative care for people affected by a serious illness.
Nicholas Cointepas from Plug and Play said, “We are proud to invest in Pal and to contribute to their important mission. Palliative care is an area of healthcare that can be difficult and scary, so Pal’s solution to help ease the burden on family, friends and other caregivers of palliative patients is a welcome one. Getting to know Nara, Azi and the rest of the Pal team, we were impressed with their approach, attitude and drive, but most of all with their commitment to making Pal a real resource for those going through a difficult time.”
Cherif Miloudi from Rabobank said “Digitalisation in healthcare is essential, and Pal empowers every family to access and benefit from palliative care effortlessly. Rabobank takes immense pride in supporting Pal with our Rabobank Innovation Loan, designed to support innovative business propositions like Pal’s, and looks forward to supporting their growth.”
“I have experienced first-hand how challenging it can be to become a caregiver for a loved one overnight, without getting proper support, tools, or guidance. Pal is the exact solution I wish I had myself when I was caring for my mom”, stated Nara Moripen, Pal’s co-founder and CEO. “This funding fuels our upcoming product launch and enables us to make palliative care more efficient, affordable, and accessible for all.”
Redefines palliative care
Every year, close to 60 million individuals are reliant on palliative care to ensure their comfort and quality of life. However, reports estimate that only a meagre 14% of those who need it have access to it. Despite the WHO recognising palliative care as a basic health right, healthcare systems worldwide remain unable to provide adequate access, placing undue stress on both patients and their families.
Pal was founded in 2022 by tech operator Azi Doost and digital health strategist and former caregiver Nara Moripen in Amsterdam to redefine palliative care. It improves access to proper at-home support for anyone affected by a life-limiting illness.
The digital platform for at-home palliative care, helps patients, family members, and healthcare providers by directly addressing the core challenges of everyday palliative caregiving, such as daily care provision, symptom management, and care team collaboration.
By optimising existing resources, Pal helps enhance care quality, improve quality of life, and boost care provider efficiency. Timely interventions made possible with Pal reduce complications and hospitalisations, translating into significant cost savings for healthcare systems.