Figure 1 raises $5M to expand picture taking app for doctors into Brazil, Asia

By Aditi Pai
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Figure 1Toronto, Canada-based Figure 1, which offers a photo sharing app for doctors, raised $5 million in a round led by Union Square Ventures with participation from existing investors Version One Ventures and Rho Canada Ventures. Allen and Company also contributed.

Figure 1 allows medical professionals to securely take and share photos with other users of the app. The offering can be used by doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and medical and nursing students. As an extra privacy measure, the app also has a face-blocking feature to automatically block faces after the picture of the patient is uploaded. All photos are screened by the company's medical officer and team of moderators to make sure the patient's identifying information has been removed from the photo.

If doctors do not want to post, they are still able to make an account to view what other people are posting and comment on those photos.

The company will use some of the funds to translate the app into other languages and expand into more cities abroad. Figure 1 is starting with Brazil, and adding Brazilian Portuguese to its languages. In the next few months, Figure 1 will add Spanish and Chinese. A portion of the funds will also go to building a small team in Asia to screen photos uploaded in that region and look for Asia-based partnerships for the company.

The app, which launched in 2013, is now being used by more than 500,000 healthcare professionals, up from 125,000 in August 2014. Some 50,000 healthcare professionals use the service daily. Figure 1's user base is from more than 100 countries.

When the company raised its last round in August 2014, Figure 1 added a new feature that allows users to take a picture, which may look like a video, but is really 200 frames of an image. The image feature is intended to be used with radiological scans.