SoftBank backs Proximie in $80m round for AR surgery

Proximie, a British healthtech startup, has raised an $80m Series C round for its augmented reality tech which allows surgeons to advise on operations remotely around the world.

The round follows a $38m Series B in April 2021 and brings the startup’s total funding to $129m. Proximie, which was founded in 2016, states its mission as saving lives by creating a “borderless operating room”.

It uses augmented reality to allow a surgeon to remotely watch an operation and use their hands to demonstrate things to the surgeon conducting the operation, who sees the remote surgeon on a screen. 

The aim is to democratise access to the most up-to-date and skilled knowledge on surgery practice, by helping surgeons advise each other from different parts of the world. 

“Proximie is helping to bridge the surgical training gap in hospitals across the world,” says Dr Nadine Hachach-Haram, NHS surgeon and Proximie’s founder. 5bn people currently lack access to safe surgery, she says, and over 18m people die every year from lack of access to surgery.

Alongside helping surgeons collaborate, Proximie also records surgery to create a “digital footprint” of operations, a database of knowledge on surgery shared across the world.

Recent updates to the tech include integrations with wearables and a mobile app version. The round was led by Advent Life Sciences, a British-American VC focused on life sciences. New investors SoftBank, British Patient Capital, Mubadala, the Minderoo Foundation and Emerson Collective, an American investment firm led by Steve Jobs’ wife Laurene Powell Jobs, also participated in the round.

It’s a rare sight to see SoftBank back a European startup in 2022. In 2021, the fund participated in 16 rounds into European companies, according to Dealroom. The Proximie round is only the third round in 2022, suggesting this year’s total will come in significantly smaller than last year after some dizzying losses on recent bets.

Existing Proximie investors F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads, Questa Capital, Global Ventures and Maverick Ventures also participated in the latest round. 

Proximie has already secured several high-value contracts — including one with Vodafone (which runs a health solutions arm) and Teladoc, an American telemedicine company valued at $23bn. It’s also signed deals with several medical device providers.

The new fundraising will be used to expand Proximie’s platform.

Success is not given, it is earned. Congratulations to the entire team at Proximie on your funding. I wish you all the best in this endeavour.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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