Men’s health and well-being startup Manual has raised a $30 million Series A round from U.S.-based Sonoma Brands and Waldencast, and Manual’s existing European investors Felix Capital and Cherry Ventures. FJ Labs and the GISEV Family Office also participated in the round. The cash will be used for product development and international expansion. Manual provides diagnostics, treatments and ongoing care and plans to expand across Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company has already expanded to Brazil.
Manual is competing with Numan (which has raised $13 million), also from the U.K. (Manual launched a month earlier than them). In the U.S. it is competing with Ro (which has raised $876.1 million) and Hims (listed). All these brands tend to focus on issues like vitamins and erectile dysfunction, with the often common refrain of "normalizing" the idea that men should look after themselves better across a number of fronts and removing stigmas around sexual health. It performs blood tests and other tests to analyze heart health, gut health, testosterone, sleep, energy and immunity. They are pushing at a large market, as men historically avoid doctors.
George Pallis, CEO and founder, previously led marketing at Wise and Deliveroo. In a statement he said: “We’ve been encouraged to see men of all ages increasingly turning to Manual to solve multiple health problems, with almost half of our customers seeking help for more than one issue. It’s clear that a health concern may have more than one cause, and we can provide customers with the ability to treat their health in a more holistic way. Using different treatments to understand and improve their wellbeing.”
Speaking during an interview, Pallis added: “We built our own teleconsultation product and have different applications for the blood test offering. When you get your results we will offer a clinician, we'll walk you through all the data and the learnings. We offer tools where people can monitor their progress and have regular check-ins with our medical team.”
Antoine Nussenbaum, co-founder and partner of Felix Capital, commented: “There is still much work to be done to remove the taboo when it comes to men looking after their well-being and talking openly about health concerns. But we’re starting to see a shift happen amongst consumers.”
Kevin Murphy, managing director of Sonoma Brands, commented: “Manual exists to empower men to take better care of themselves and to live fuller lives by doing so. George and his team have the clarity of vision and the skill to make Manual a leader in this exciting and important area.”