Chinese surgical robot developer Edge closes nearly $92.6m Series B round

Visuals from Edge Medical Robotics' website

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.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.