Inovus Medical – the global surgical training technology company – has announced the successful completion of a $7 million investment round this week. The round includes an investment of $6.2 million from Norgine Ventures.
The investment follows the remarkably successful launch of the company’s high fidelity laparoscopic simulation platform, LapAR™. Since its launch during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the LapAR™ has quickly become the platform of choice for high fidelity laparoscopic skills training across the UK. The LapAR™ was developed with a $1.5 million product development contract from SBRI Healthcare and has been adopted by several national training programmes, leading NHS hospitals such as Guys and St Thomas and Cambridge University hospitals and medical technology giants Olympus and Ethicon. The core technology used in LapAR™ includes a proprietary approach to augmented reality that enables ‘hybrid, headset free’ surgical simulation. The technology also utilises computer vision and machine learning algorithms combined with a cloud based digital training platform. Earlier this year, the company announced that the novel technology used in LapAR™ has also been applied to its new high fidelity hysteroscopy simulator, HystAR™.
The investment announced this week will be used to expand the company’s direct commercial presence in key international markets, strengthen its global customer support capacity and significantly increase the capacity of its in-house development teams.
Inovus deploys a novel approach to delivery of high-fidelity surgical training by combining soft tissue phantoms with digital platforms. This allows surgeons to train using real surgical instruments, generating ‘natural haptics’ (feel) within a highly immersive environment. The recent investment will allow the company to accelerate the commercialisation of a suite of surgical training technologies that utilise this unique approach, adding to its existing portfolio of laparoscopic and hysteroscopy simulators.
Dr Elliot Street, Co-founder and CEO of Inovus Medical said, “We are extremely excited that the Norgine Ventures team have joined us on our mission of becoming the world’s partner for surgical training. In addition to the acceleration of our scale up activities that this funding brings, we are lucky to have the backing of Norgine Ventures and all the market insights and expertise such a partner adds. At every interaction with the Norgine Ventures team it has been clear they understand and support our vision for driving a paradigm shift in the way we train surgeons to improve surgical care, it promises to be an exciting partnership ahead.”
Peter Stein, Norgine Ventures said “The surgical training technology and digital surgery sectors represent an attractive growth opportunity. Norgine Ventures are excited to be backing what we feel is a differentiated technology and a team with deep sector knowledge that has a proven track record of driving sustainable growth”.
The investment from Norgine Ventures follows an initial $1million financing from Mercia Asset Management and high net worth investors in late 2018. All original investors remain part of the Inovus journey following receipt of this new financing.
Mark Wyatt, Investment Director at Mercia Asset management said “We are happy to see the investment NPIF made catalysing further investment and job creation. It is pleasing to see international investors being attracted to the region by the quality of the businesses that NPIF has played a part in developing. It is a testament to the hard work, talent and vision of all those involved at Inovus, and we look forward to seeing them continue to grow following this significant injection of capital”.
With their global headquarters based in St Helens, part of the Liverpool City Region, and already exporting to over 70 countries worldwide, Inovus continues to spearhead the region’s drive to become a global leader in Innovation, Advanced Manufacturing and Life Sciences. The business plans to invest significantly in local talent development and the evolving innovation ecosystem across the LCR following this recent investment.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The Liverpool City Region is home to a thriving ecosystem of leading innovators and industries to rival anywhere in the world. We’re fortunate to be building our future on enviable foundations – but we know that there is still so much potential yet to unlock – which is why I’m on a mission to make our region the UK’s powerhouse for innovation.
“However, innovation can’t exist in a vacuum – we need the support of forward-thinking businesses with the ambition to join us on our journey. Inovus Medical is one of the companies that we believe shares our vision for the future of our region – which is why it was one of the first companies that we supported through our £3m Future Innovation Fund. It’s clear that they’re already reaping the rewards of our investment – I’m really excited to see what the future has in store for them.”