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A Bulgarian Engineer Solves Erectile Dysfunction With Fresh €6M in Series A

Nikolay Dimolarov Kranus Health
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  • Kranus Health, a Germany-based men’s health startup with a Bulgarian co-founder, raises over €6M in Series A funding for its prescription digital therapeutic for erectile dysfunction, which can be prescribed by specialists in addition to or instead of pills.
  • The funding comes from new investors Karista and Peak Pride Management GmbH, and includes follow-on investments from existing investors High-Tech Gründerfonds and A-Round capital. Business angels such as Florian Brand, Prof. Dr. Ehsan Khaljani, Florian Huber, and Thomas L. Spinner also joined the round.
  • The company will use the funding to invest in clinical research and develop more digital therapies, increase market reach, and expand its team. 

Founded in 2020 by a team of four experienced medical, business, and engineering professionals, Kranus Health solves men’s health issues that no one talks about. Prof. Dr. Kurt Miller (Chief Medical Officer and former head of Urology at a clinic in Berlin), Jens Nörtershäuser (co-CEO), Nikolay Dimolarov (CTO) and Thilo Kleinschmidt (co-CEO) founded Kranus Health with the mission to eliminate taboo topics when it comes to healthcare for men. 

Upon the closing of Kranus Health’s most recent Series A round, The Recursive talked with the 29-year-old co-founder and CTO of the company, Nikolay Dimolarov, recently named one of Forbes 30 under 30 2022 for Europe. 

Find out more about Nikolay Dimolarov’s journey and Kranus Health in this story. 

A passion for solving tough engineering problems

“I moved to Germany in 2006, following my older sister’s example. My parents sent me to study abroad at a German boarding school so that I could experience another culture and learn to speak German fluently,” Dimolarov tells us.

Later he obtained German citizenship and moved to Munich in 2012  to continue his higher education after graduating from high school. Dimolarov holds a Computer Science degree with a specialization in Human-Computer-Interaction and Software Engineering.  “At the same time, I did around a hundred internships in big companies such as Siemens and KPMG,” Dimolarov remembers. Right around the time, he was finishing his master’s degree, Dimolarov already knew he wanted to pursue a career in software engineering and joined the German R&D startup Motius.

“I was one of the company’s first employees and quickly climbed some career steps to the position of a product owner. At some point, I was responsible for around 5 different projects. My role, however, began to be more and more focused on sales and communicating with partners and clients. I was getting away from the product and away from working with other engineers. This was not the path I wanted to continue on,” Dimolarov shares. 

Because of that, he left Motius and started working at the German decacorn company Celonis. He was responsible for scaling Celonis’ platforms as the Product Manager of the two most technical teams within the startup. 

Throughout the years he spent at Celonis and Motius, Dimolarov developed an extensive network. That is how around 2 years ago, he met the rest of the founding team at Kranus Health. At the time the team was still looking for a CTO who would be able to build up and lead the Product and Engineering teams.

Long story short, Dimolarov identified with Kranus Health’s mission and encouraged by his passion to delve into complex engineering problems joined the founding team. Soon after this Kranus Health closed its first pre-seed financing round. 

The holistic, digital solution for erectile dysfunction

Kranus Edera, Kranus Health’s first digital therapeutic, is an app on prescription providing a  holistic therapy for erectile dysfunction. It has been approved by the German government and comes at zero costs for patients as they are covered by national health insurers. 

Users of the app complete a 12-week therapy consisting of pelvic floor training, physical therapy exercises, cardiovascular endurance training, mindfulness and body awareness exercises, as well as sexual therapy exercises. Patients receive new exercises daily that are personalized in intensity and complexity based on patient feedback. Kranus Edera is based on the principle of digital coaching, which enables personal multidisciplinary rehabilitation. The multidisciplinary approach includes several therapy elements whose effectiveness in the treatment of erectile dysfunction has been widely recognised and documented. In addition, patients receive daily background knowledge to improve their understanding of the underlying principles of erectile function and the influence of lifestyle factors, such as nutrition or stress.

“The market that we operate in is highly regulated and the framework in which we develop our product is strict. Nonetheless, we have to run as fast as any other start-up. No investor would give us additional capital just because we work in healthcare and have to comply with regulations which can slow down our road maps,” Dimolarov explains. 

Right now the company has around 50 employees out of which a quarter is in his product and engineering team. After raising its Series A, Kranus Health will focus on clinical research, the development of more digital therapies, increasing market reach, and expanding its team.  

Dimolarov is looking for strong candidates for his team. He even mentioned that as a Bulgarian founder he has thought about building a Bulgaria-based engineering team, but for now Kranus Health will remain Munich and Berlin-based.

 

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.
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