Our Investment in High-Performance Handheld Ultrasound – Exo Raises $40 Million To Bring Diagnostic-Grade Medical Imaging to the Pocket of Every Caregiver and Clinician Worldwide
By Brent MacDonald – Principal @ Rising Tide VC
Medical imaging for all — it’s a clarion call for change that grows louder every day. It comes from patients seeking greater access to imaging that will help them live healthier lives. It comes from families seeking answers as to why their children are sick. It comes from expectant mothers wanting to monitor the health of their unborn babies. It comes from healthcare professionals on the front lines of care delivery who have long sought tools that are simpler, moreaffordable and can fit in their pocket.
Exo is pioneering a high-performance handheld ultrasound platform. By providing a window into every body, Exo aims to reinvent the way healthcare practitioners use technology to triage, diagnose and treat patients at the point of care. The company is committed to bringing high-quality imaging to healthcare professionals at an affordable price due to its miniaturized Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer (pMUT) technology. By delivering intuitive, high-quality medical imaging, Exo empowers healthcare professionals to make critical, real-time decisions that improve patient outcomes. The company envisions clinicians carrying its handheld ultrasound device as an everyday part of their patient care protocol.
75% of the world’s population does not have access to high-quality medical imaging. Existing systems are too expensive and too complex to use on a mass scale. (Industry Data)
Traditional ultrasound transducers are built from bulk piezoelectric materials in a process that is inefficient and costly. Advances in micro-machining has allowed the development of pMUT sensors and actuators to be formed on a substrate, rather than being machined. Therefore, pMUTs are smaller, less expensive to manufacture and able to generate higher quality images than transducers formed by traditional methods. The key to the Exo platform is its pMUT technology, which gives it the potential to create an ultrasound device that uses a fraction of the power. Exo plans to layer-in artificial intelligence to burn less power, enhance image quality and make the technology as easy to use as a smartphone out of box. The company envisions bringing their first device to market in 2021. Additional details can be found on Exo’s podcast episode. “Welcome to The Exo Chamber! Episode 1: Who are we?” available onApple Podcasts here.
Why We Are Excited:
The founders– chief executive officer Sandeep Akkaraju; chairman and chief visionary officer Janusz Bryzek, Ph.D.; chief technology officer and senior vice president of engineering Yusuf Haque, Ph.D.; and board advisor John Kokulis –have nearly 20 startups in their collective portfolio, along with several large exits. As a team, they have decades of experience in miniaturizing and driving costs out of complex systems and making them easy to use. Exo believes its technology can be applied not only to diagnostic ultrasound imaging but also to high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), a therapeutic modality used to attack tumors and other lesions deep inside the body. Exo also plans to utilize their novel ultrasound transducer technology for enhanced 3D imaging, which may be performed as an advanced point-of-care test in the future. The planned visual interface is a provider’s smartphone or mobile device, allowing it to be used ubiquitously, in a hospital, clinic, or in the field. The global point-of-care diagnostics market size is expected to reach $24.1 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 3.2% (Industry Data).
Exo’s funding round was led by investor Fiscus Ventures,Reimagined Ventures (Magnetar Capital affiliates) and Action Potential Venture Capital, a GlaxoSmithKline venture fund, All existing investors, including Intel Capital and Applied Ventures, also participated in the round. The financing will enable the company to advance their products through the FDA 510K clearance process and into commercialization. Exo will also use the proceeds to build out its team of engineering, sales and operations professionals. To date, the company has raised nearly $100 million.
Read the full press release here
About Rising Tide Fund Managers
Rising Tide Fund Managers, LLC and its affiliates (“Rising Tide” or “We”) is a United States venture capital firm investing primarily in the information technology and healthcare / life sciences markets. Over the last 35 years, we have partnered with family funds, high-impact investors, and strategic partners to help launch and expand startups in a variety of industries across three continents. We are dedicated to cooperating with our entrepreneurs at all stages: from financing to leveraging our international networks to facilitating exits by design. For more information, visit www.rtf.vc.
The portfolio companies described herein do not represent all the portfolio companies purchased, sold or recommended for portfolios advised by Rising Tide. The reader should not assume that an investment in the portfolio companies identified were or will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investors should be aware that a loss of investment is possible.