Vicarious Surgical, a startup that combines virtual reality with surgical robotics, just landed $16.75 million in a Series A funding round led by Vinod Khosla's Khosla Ventures and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, with participation from Bill Gates’ Gates Ventures, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures and Marc Benioff. The company plans to use the money to support the next growth phase and build up its robotics and software teams.
"Vicarious Surgical is using miniaturized robotics and immersive virtual reality to give surgeons superpowers, exponentially improving visibility and accuracy in minimally invasive surgery,” Dror Berman, founding partner of Innovation Endeavors, said in a statement. "This approach is poised to drive a super evolution in surgical care that will save lives.”
The Cambridge, Ma-based startup’s goal is to enable surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery via a single micro-incision with the help of virtual reality and “proprietary human-like surgical robotics.”
The company declined to answer further questions about the product from MobiHealthNews, but according to the press statement “Vicarious Surgical has achieved what what has been the goal of surgical robotics since the field’s inception—to shrink the surgeon and put them inside the patient.” How exactly the technology will accomplish this is still unclear.
The company was founded by recent MIT graduates Adam Sachs and Sammy Khalifa, as well as Dr. Barry Greene, a bariatric surgeon at Advanced Weight Loss Surgery, according to LinkedIn.
The startup has been supported by Khosla Ventures for the last two years. According to Crunchbase this is the company’s third funding round and this latest round brought the total funding to $19.8 million.
Using VR in the surgical field is not new exactly; right now there are several companies using it to train surgeons and help patients understand their surgeries. For example, Osso VR is developing a virtual operating room to help surgeons practice.
"We are thrilled to have support from such a strong group of investors, who will help us build out our team as we continue to develop our technology," Adam Sachs, CEO and cofounder of Vicarious Surgical, said in a statement. "Our platform will improve patient access to the latest in minimally invasive robotic surgery. We believe the best surgical technology should not be limited to major hospitals, and we are grateful to partner with investors who share this mission."