Da Vinci robotics maker launches $100M VC fund




, Da Vinci robotics maker launches $100M VC fund

Intuitive, the dad or mum firm of robotics producer Intuitive Surgical, on Tuesday launched a $100 million venture-capital fund to put money into startups engaged on minimally invasive surgical procedure.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Intuitive Surgical is greatest identified for its da Vinci system, a surgical system usually credited with popularizing robotic surgical procedure within the early 2000s.

The $100 million fund, dubbed Intuitive Ventures, is a part of the corporate’s imaginative and prescient for “accelerating the way forward for minimally invasive care,” in accordance with Dr. Oliver Keown, Intuitive Ventures’ director, who joined Intuitive final 12 months to co-found the fund. Keown beforehand was an investor at Common Electrical’s enterprise capital subsidiary, GE Ventures.

Keown will lead Intuitive Ventures with Julian Nikolchev, Intuitive Surgical’s senior vice chairman of company growth and technique who may also function president of the fund.

Intuitive Ventures will put money into early-stage startups growing precision diagnostics, digital instruments, focal therapies and different applied sciences that assist minimally invasive surgical care.

“We see the way forward for minimally invasive care as spanning your complete continuum, from illness detection to follow-up,” Keown mentioned. The fund will again firms “throughout that spectrum.”

Intuitive Ventures marks Intuitive’s first transfer into the enterprise capital area.

It joins different medical gadget firms with venture-capital arms together with GE Ventures, Johnson & Johnson’s JJDC and Royal Philips’ Philips Ventures.

Buyers general poured $21.eight billion into healthcare startups throughout this 12 months’s third quarter, up 61.6% year-over-year, in accordance with a report from CB Insights, a agency that analyzes information on enterprise capital and startups. Medical gadget firms, a sector that features robotic surgical procedure, raised greater than $5 billion in funding—a brand new quarterly excessive.

Intuitive Ventures’ first funding went to KēlaHealth, a software program firm that makes use of synthetic intelligence to foretell sufferers’ danger of experiencing surgical problems and to advocate interventions. KēlaHealth’s danger stratification instruments may save $231 to $458 per vascular surgical procedure affected person by decreasing surgical web site infections, in accordance with a examine revealed within the Journal of Surgical Analysis this 12 months.

The San Francisco-based startup, a part of a rising ecosystem of firms making use of AI to surgical procedure, was based by physicians at Duke College Well being System.

Intuitive Ventures and KēlaHealth aren’t disclosing how a lot the fund invested into KēlaHealth, in accordance with Keown. However Intuitive Ventures co-led the startup’s $10 million Sequence A funding spherical with Santé Ventures, a healthcare and life venture-capital agency.

Intuitive Ventures as a “value-add investor” will join KēlaHealth’s management crew with others at Intuitive to see if there’s alternatives for extra partnership and collaboration down the road, however these aren’t a part of the funding deal, in accordance with Keown.

“We’re making investments into unbiased initiatives,” he mentioned. “We actually again … KēlaHealth to be a stand-alone success story within the digital well being market.”

Intuitive posted $1.1 billion in income for 2020’s third quarter, down four% year-over-year, which the corporate attributed to decrease system placements throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to decrease service income from credit it distributed as a part of a buyer reduction program. Intuitive’s working revenue was $270.four million, down from $365.7 million throughout 2019’s third quarter.