China’s Edge Medical Robotics has secured nearly 600 million yuan ($92.6 million) in a Series B round to speed up the clinical development and commercialisation of its surgical robots.
The Series B round was led by healthcare-dedicated fund LYFE Capital and Hong Kong-listed surgical instrument maker Kangji Medical. Edge’s existing shareholders 3H Health Investment, a China-focused healthcare private equity (PE) fund, and equity investment firm Panorama Capital co-led the deal, the startup announced on Friday.
Other investors included Vertex Ventures China; China-focused BioTrack Capital; Alwin Capital that specialises in early-stage life science investments; and state-owned business group China Poly Group’s investment platform Poly Capital.
The new financing will accelerate the construction of Edge’s product line, global product registration, and market promotion to help advance its businesses into the next phase of development.
Founded in May 2017, the startup created its first single-port surgical robot prototype in January 2018 and later tested its reliability through animal experiments in May the same year. It is in the process of applying for certification from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), before it can launch the product in the domestic market, shows the firm’s website.
Investors are using the playbook of US-based Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci surgical robots to envision the future potential of surgical robot makers like Edge.
“The market of surgical robots is the biggest segment in the overall medical robot space, representing the most advanced technology in the area. With the world’s largest patient population, the Chinese market only has a penetration rate of less than 5% for surgical robots. There is a huge gap between demand and supply,” Vertex Ventures China partner Liu Tianran said in a statement.
Globally, the market for surgical robots is projected to grow from $6.7 billion in 2020 to $11.8 billion in 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1% during the forecast period, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.
Aiming to tap the largely underserved market, Edge already kick-started the clinical research and small-scale pilot production of its single-port surgical robot, which has by far gone through three generations of prototype development. It is expected to become one of China’s first home-grown single-port surgical robots available in the domestic market for surgical operations in the fields of urinary surgery, gynaecology, and thoracic surgery.
Leveraging AI, medical engineering and imaging and other technologies, Edge also develops products including ultra-high-definition stereotactic endoscopic operation solutions, as well as robotic systems used in multi-port laparoscopic surgeries.
Before the Series B round, Edge had raised over 100 million yuan ($15.4 million) in a Series pre-B round led by 3H Health Investment in September 2020.
Its earlier investors also include Legend Star, an angel fund affiliated with Chinese conglomerate Legend Holdings.