Quit Genius closes $11m Series A to help millions conquer Tobacco, Opioid and Alcohol addictions

Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, March 19, 2020 — Quit Genius, the personalized digital therapeutic for addictions, today announces that it has raised a further $11 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s most active early-stage investors, with participation from Y Combinator, Startup Health, Triple Point Ventures, Serena Ventures and Venus Williams, amongst others.

Quit Genius replaces conventional low-intensity telephonic cessation support with a personalized digital program that includes cognitive behavioral therapy, expert coaching, a connected breath sensor and easy access to proven medication. This innovative approach has translated to industry-leading quit rates, validated in six peer-reviewed papers and the largest randomized-controlled trial for a digital addiction program soon to be published.

Founded by three medical doctors, the company’s initial focus has been tobacco and vaping use, where its evidence-based program has delivered a 53% quit rate for its users. This is almost triple the 15% quit rate achieved by traditional telephonic intervention, and just 3% when going cold-turkey.

The $11 million investment will support the company’s plans to expand its therapeutic programs beyond cigarette and vaping addiction to include alcohol and substance abuse, as well as increase its presence in the US, which is currently experiencing an opioid ‘epidemic’.

At present, Quit Genius works predominantly with self-insured employers and health plans to help lower healthcare costs, while improving employee satisfaction. It operates with a ‘fees-at-risk’ model with a performance guarantee, where clients are typically ‘paid back’ in the first 4 months. The company already reaches over 700,000 enrolled participants globally, working with enterprise clients across the US, Canada and the UK.

Yusuf Sherwani, CEO and Co-founder of Quit Genius, commented:

“Since our last funding round 18 months ago, our customer base has increased ten-fold, we have demonstrated industry-leading quit rates and expanded our product offering to vaping cessation.”

“Employers are tired of the broken incentives that exist in a traditional “fee-for-service” model. By delivering value-based pricing, we are fast becoming the #1 digital therapeutic program for addictions in the employer space.”

“Quit Genius is re-defining the gold standard therapy to tackle addictions and it is incredible to see the positive impact the team has made in such a short space of time.”


About Pelago

Pelago, formerly Quit Genius, partners with enterprises as the leading virtual clinic for substance use management among their employees. We are transforming substance use support—from prevention to treatment—delivering education, management skills, and opportunities for positive change to members struggling with substance use, most commonly tobacco, alcohol, or opioids. Our solution gives employers the means to offer on-demand, personalized support to workers seeking to live healthier lives. Pelago’s cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs deliver convenient, accessible, and effective support that seamlessly integrates with health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and wellness platforms. To date, Pelago has helped more than 750,000 members manage their substance use and improve their lives.

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