Medtech VCs Find Ways To Fill The Gaps
The medtech venture capital ecosystem has certainly felt some strain lately as market pressures tighten the spigot for venture funding. At the IN3 meeting in October, members of a panel of medtech investors – three institutional and one corporate VC, and an entrepreneur – explained how they’re committing their capital during these difficult times.
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Device start-ups raised $1.7 billion in 2013, and approximately 75% of the total was from Series C or later rounds, a sign that investors are still more comfortable making investments in more advanced companies.
Robots invaded the operating room years ago, providing surgeons with high precision tools to perform a wide range of procedures from prostatectomies to partial knee replacements. Now, Restoration Robotics is hoping to take over the private practices of hair restoration surgeons. Last year, the venture-backed company launched ARTAS, a robotic system capable of minimally invasive removal of hair follicles used in hair transplants. Restoration Robotics executives see ARTAS as a way to level the playing field between hair restoration surgeons who are capable of performing the sometimes tricky follicular unit extraction and those who want to offer the procedure but don’t have the skills or resources. By conservative estimates, FUE accounts for less than 20% of the $1 billion hair restoration industry. Restoration Robotics sees its robotic system enabling more surgeons to perform FUEs, which could convince more prospective patients to undergo a hair restoration procedure.
Bluebird bio’s Tom Klima told Scrip launch preparations are well under way, including negotiations with payers on outcomes-based reimbursement agreements.