Allermi raises $1 million pre-seed for personalized online allergy treatment
Ready-to-use personalized nasal spray, online allergy treatment startup Allermi is looking to tap into an underserved consumer market with its first round of funding.
Why is it important: Allermi focuses on a relatively untapped segment of the direct-to-consumer field: personalized prescription allergy treatment.
- He’s riding a wave of investor interest spurred by DTC startups including Hims & Hers and Ro.
Offer details: Allermi has inhaled $1.25 million in pre-seed funding led by Lucas Venture Group, CEO Shani Bocian exclusively told Axios.
And after: The company is gearing up to lift its seed in the fall, Bocian says, and plans to expand into personalized eczema treatments.
The context: While DTC startups for sexual health, dermatology, and hair loss have dominated the digital pharmacy landscape, fewer companies have focused on prescription allergy treatments — with a few notable exceptions. For instance:
- Hybrid skincare company Thirty Madison, which in February acquired women’s telehealth startup Nurx, offers personalized treatments for allergies, hair loss, migraines and digestive issues.
- Telehealth company Hims & Hers, which hit the public markets last year with a $1.6 billion valuation, sells some allergy treatments through its primary care vertical.
The backstory: A lifelong allergy sufferer, Bocian started the company with his father Robert Bocian, an allergist and assistant clinical associate professor of Pediatrics in Immunology and Allergy at Stanford.
- “My dad used to bring home a personalized treatment protocol every month that would soothe my symptoms,” Bocian says, recalling that patients started calling his sprays “Bocian’s potion.”
- “So when the digital health companies started to explode, I said, let’s take your solution and make it available across the country,” she adds.
How it works: Users complete an online medical questionnaire and detail their symptoms, and an allergist designs their nasal spray.
- Thanks to Allermi’s partnership with Alberton’s, which provides access to a preparation pharmacy, each spray contains between two and four active ingredients.
- Similar to other digital pharmacies, Allermi only accepts cash and its treatments cost $45 per month.
- Robert Bocian says the company is also working on materials to help people learn the correct technique for using its spray. “We’re very proud that it’s not a cookie-cutter approach,” he says.
Yes, but: San Francisco-based Allermi is currently only available to California residents, though Bocian says it is working on licensing in five other states.
What they say : Lucas Venture Group General Partner Sarah Lucas sees an opportunity for Allermi to become what she describes as a benchmark in allergy treatment.
- “It’s not rocket science. It’s very basic,” says Lucas. “They have a treatment that they know works, so it’s about getting it to the right people and getting them what they need to use it properly.”