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Intuitive Wants to Invest Heavily in Minimally Invasive Care

Intuitive Ventures has closed on $150 million to help startups with a focus on minimally invasive care.

Omar Ford

December 5, 2023

4 Min Read
Image courtesy of Intuitive Ventures

Intuitive Ventures is bringing $150 million to startups involved in minimally invasive care. The financing arm of Intuitive Surgical said earlier this week that it has closed its second fund.

In addition, Murielle Thinard McLane, who joined the team earlier this year, will lead the fund. She takes over the role of Managing Partner and Head of Intuitive Ventures from Oliver Keown MD, who has decided to pursue a new chapter in entrepreneurship as a startup founder and CEO. 

MD+DI reached out to Intuitive Ventures about the round; how it might be beneficial for recipients; and Thinard McLane’s new role.

Could you elaborate on the significance of the current fund for startups? Considering the reported challenges in VC funding, can you shed light on the impact and support this fund offers to emerging businesses?

Thinard McLane: “No matter the economic climate, we believe in the opportunity for transformation in healthtech and medtech. Emerging companies that are re-imagining minimally invasive care need high-quality, committed investors now more than ever, so it’s our privilege and responsibility to continue to support this vital ecosystem with our $150 million Fund II.”

Can you discuss your new role, and can you share your vision for the fund?

Thinard McLane: “It’s an honor to build and support our incredible team of medtech investment partners, and continue to foster the ecosystem of startups working to improve patient outcomes. Intuitive Ventures has always focused on supporting startups that are re-imagining minimally invasive care, so my job is to continue to develop our portfolio of transformative companies and scale our impactful investment approach to help accelerate innovation in diagnostics, medtech, therapeutics, and digital health even further.”

In 2020, Intuitive Ventures initiated its operations with a $100 million founding fund. Could you provide insights into the companies that were recipients of funding during that year? Could you discuss the types of technologies these companies were developing? 

Thinard McLane: “Since our launch, we’ve been relentlessly focused on improving healthcare access and coordination, promoting precise diagnostics and interventions, and unlocking the potential of novel (healthcare) data. We invest in startups that are creating transformative value across these three areas and ultimately reimagining minimally invasive care, including these companies in our portfolio:

·         Capstan Medical (Improving Access and Precise Intervention), which is transforming the treatment of structural heart disease via endovascular robotics. In August, they launched out of stealth with an oversubscribed $31.4 million Series B round. 

·         Endogenex (Precise Intervention), which is improving outcomes and quality of life for patients living with Type 2 Diabetes. In May, the company presented their exciting early clinical experience using its ReCET System in three oral presentations at Digestive Disease Week.

·         Flywheel.io (Big Data), which is pioneering the future of medical imaging data management and analysis. This summer, they raised over $54 million in Series D funding and in November announced their collaboration with Microsoft and NVIDIA to Propel End-to-End AI Development Platform on Microsoft Azure.

·         KelaHealth (Big Data, Precise Intervention), which provides an AI-enabled surgical intelligence platform to deliver patient-specific, predictive insights at key decision points. They recently completed a 12-month study with the Duke University Medical Center, which showed how the company’s surgical intelligence platform leads to a reduction in acute kidney injuries and readmissions after colorectal surgeries. 

·         MedCrypt (Big Data), which provides data security as a service to medical device OEMs. They recently raised their Series B funding, bringing the company’s total funds raised to date to $36.4 million. In October, Medcrypt won the Digital Health Award for Patient Safety at the HLTH conference.

·         Neocis (Improving Access), which is transforming dental implant surgery with advanced robotics. The Yomi Neocis robot is the first and only FDA-cleared robotic system for dental surgery.

·         Optellum (Precise Diagnosis), which is redefining early interception of lung disease. They were recently ranked one of the top 150 most promising companies transforming healthcare with digital technology by CB Insights. The company continues to expand its product offerings and is engaging in strategic partnerships with a variety of Medtech players.

·         Surge Therapeutics (Previse Intervention), which is dramatically improving cancer patient survival by disrupting how, when and where cancer immunotherapy is deployed. The company received FDA clearance of its IND application to proceed with a Phase 1/2a study of its intraoperative immunotherapy and has dosed its first few patients. In July, they raised $32 million in series B funding.

Finally, is there a noticeable trend in the types of technology sectors receiving funding? Are specific areas, such as diagnostics or digital health, experiencing increased innovation and investment?

Thinard McLane: “In my experience, investors are less focused on new technologies or sector trends, and more focused on great companies that are transforming their field in a meaningful way. Above all else, we seek out solid teams of people who are passionate about their work and committed to building companies that will improve people’s lives and stand the test of time.”

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].

 

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