ForSight Robotics Raises $10 Million from Eclipse Ventures and Mithril Capital in Seed Round
ForSight Robotics today announced the company is developing a surgical robotic platform that will transform the future of ophthalmic surgery with a $10 million seed round led by Eclipse Ventures and joined by Mithril Capital.
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ForSight Robotics is developing a next-generation miniature robotic system to help democratize ophthalmic surgery worldwide. Pictured above is a component of the robot prototype. (Photo: Business Wire)
ForSight's mission is to re-imagine ophthalmic surgery by applying the most advanced technologies in microsurgical robotics, computer visualization and machine learning. The platform will automate the complex subtleties of ophthalmic surgery with an intuitive, patient-centric system that tackles the profound and growing problems of preventable blindness and visual impairment.
Many of the leading causes of blindness worldwide can be prevented with timely surgical procedures. However, ophthalmic microsurgery is intricate and challenging, requiring many years to master. Also, trained ophthalmic surgeons are in extremely short supply worldwide. According to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, affluent nations averaged just 72 eye surgeons per million people, while low-income countries averaged an alarming 3.7 ophthalmologists per million.
ForSight's team combines the expertise of world-renowned ophthalmic surgeons with those of today's top medical roboticists - an accomplished group of technologists whose work animates the majority of surgical robots deployed at scale. With the right technology and team in place, ForSight Robotics believes that the talents of today's top eye surgeons can be scaled and shared with the world.
Technologically, ForSight's robotics will provide unprecedented dexterity and maneuverability with six degrees of freedom, and the capability of executing intricate tasks with microsurgical instruments. Combining the latest advancements in robotics, machine learning and microsurgery, the ForSight system will incorporate state-of-the-art stereoscopic imaging technologies for surgical planning, real-time image guidance, and unparalleled visualization. The platform will ensure the continuous improvement of surgical technique and exeed human surgical capabilities with more precise movements of only a few microns.
ForSight Robotics Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Glozman, Ph.D., has specialized in robotics for medical applications for over 20 years, heading R&D at Medtronic Ventor Technologies, Magenta Medical, Diagnostic Robotics, and Guide-X - which he also founded.
ForSight Co-Founder Moshe Shoham, Ph.D., is an acclaimed emeritus professor of mechanical engineering at the Technion and former head of its robotics laboratory. Besides his many academic honors, Prof. Shoham founded Mazor Robotics, the leading spinal robotics platform since acquired by Medtronic plc. He is an international member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
Joseph Nathan, M.D., ForSight Robotics Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, previously directed healthcare commercialization at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, where he forged partnerships worth over $1 billion with global pharmaceutical and med-tech companies. Dr. Nathan also served as director of New Ventures for the Alfred Mann Institute at the Technion, a $100 million joint venture incubating medical startups.
ForSight is supported by a distinguished group of accomplished peers in the field. Members of ForSight's strategic advisory board are: Dr. Fred Moll, co-founder of Intuitive Surgical Inc. and Auris Health Inc., Rony Abovitz, co-founder of Mako Surgical Inc. and Magic Leap Inc., and Ajay Royan, co-founder of Mithril.
In addition, ForSight will be guided by a clinical advisory board comprising six world-renowned ophthalmic surgeons. They are Drs. David Chang, Elizabeth Yeu, Vance Thompson, Boris Malyugin, Sam Garg and Modi Naftali.
"We are thrilled to bring robotics into the world of ophthalmic surgery," Dr. Glozman said. "Our goal is to democratize this highly sophisticated procedure, enabling patients around the world to easily access the treatment that can restore their vision."
Dr. Nathan adds that the system ForSight is building wasn't technologically possible five years ago. "These are exciting times that will enable the transformation of ophthalmic surgery from art to science," he said. "Our goal is to collaborate with physicians, industry and patients to bring the best possible robotic platform in order to benefit as many vision-impaired patients as possible."
"Our partnership with ForSight is a continuation of our effort to invest in the most advanced robotics companies and support world-class talent with the necessary experience to build real-world solutions for highly valuable applications and industries," said Seth Winterroth, Partner at Eclipse Ventures. "This company meets all those criteria and one more: Its success will help millions of people around the world see and live better."
"As populations grow and age, robotically assisted surgery is an essential tool to simultaneously advance technique and broaden access to top-tier medical expertise," said Ajay Royan, co-founder of Mithril Capital. "ForSight's mission will benefit hundreds of millions around the world."
ForSight was awarded a grant from the Israel Innovation Authority's Companies Incentive Program and has built a top-notch executive team to lead mechanical engineering, computer vision, product design and software development. The company is expanding its technical team and is actively seeking highly skilled, impact-driven engineers across the mechanical, software and hardware fields.
About ForSight Robotics Ltd.
ForSight Robotics Ltd. is a private company based in Israel that is transforming ophthalmic surgery with state-of-the-art robotics, advanced visualization and data analytics. Learn more at https://www.forsightrobotics.com
About Eclipse Ventures
Eclipse is an early-stage venture firm managed by a team of former operators who are passionate about modernizing massive, physical industries like manufacturing, logistics, transportation and healthcare. Founded in 2015, Eclipse works side by side with experienced founders who understand the need to transform these industries, providing guidance on everything from operating best practices to fundraising strategies. Partnering with Eclipse means deep engagement toward building generational companies in sectors that define and propel economies. Learn more at https://eclipse.vc.
About Mithril Capital Management
Mithril is a venture capital firm co-founded by Ajay Royan and Peter Thiel. Agnostic to sector and geography, the firm invests and partners with teams that use technology to build valuable and lasting businesses, often in industries long overdue for change. Each of these businesses is unique, but all face common challenges to unlocking long-term growth. Mithril helps navigate these critical inflection points and invests in size and with conviction. Mithril is headquartered in Austin, TX. Learn more at https://mithril.com.