Founder Stories

"Folklore saw our vision of changing the future of medicine."

Manuri Gunawardena
Founder of HealthMatch

Changing the future of medicine.

The process of bringing medication and drug treatments to market is still an old-world acquisition process rooted in manual processes. Only 20% of medications that begin a trial process actually recruit enough patient participants to complete a trial, meaning around 80% of pharmaceutical R&D fails at the first hurdle in a market that is spending over $180B annually. From the patient’s perspective, it is an immensely difficult system to navigate and is heavily reliant on doctors having the knowledge to introduce to their patient a potential suitable trial, and also plain luck. There are millions of people desperate to trial new treatments, but the complexities and inefficiencies in the process mean they often miss out. 

Meeting Manuri

Manuri, a sole founder and final year med student at UNSW came to us for seed funding after witnessing first-hand the damaging impact of clinical trial confusion during her time as a brain cancer researcher. She came to us with a prototype and a vision: to accelerate patient recruitment and enable life-changing treatments by leveraging technology, and put the steering wheel in the hands of the patient.

Tomorrow's treatments, today

We invested in HealthMatch’s seed round because we saw in the making a globally meaningful company that could make a generational impact on the global healthcare industry. We saw a company that will save lives by driving deep industry and economic changes through direct patient recruitment and cost savings in the R&D process. We also believed in Manuri, the thoughtful and gritty visionary who inspired and led us to believe in her vision. 

The team changing the future of medicine.

Since our seed investment, HealthMatch has grown its team and launched its product. HealthMatch is now matching roughly 2,000 patients each month to clinical trials in Australia and Asia and are completing recruitment in one or two months, compared to what usually takes 18 to 24 months. They have also entered into exclusive partnerships with Roche and other major global pharmaceutical companies across Asia. 

What next? 

We have been excited to continue investing in HealthMatch’s journey - following on in both their Series A and most recent Series B round in December 2020, together with our friends at Square Peg. This follow-on capital enabled HealthMatch to accelerate its global growth and fully commercialise its product via partnerships with the world’s most important pharmaceutical companies, and will see the team rapidly expand in Asia. 

HealthMatch is quickly becoming a lighthouse for the new generation of globally scalable healthtech companies started by ambitious Australian and New Zealand founders, and we can’t wait to see what they will do next. 

Legends in the Making

Folklore had backed incredible companies from autonomous medical drones, to addiction management and crime fighting technology.

Meet Our Companies