Cambridge-based surgical robots startup bags $600M funding at $3B valuation

CMR Surgical Image credits: CMR Surgical

Cambridge-based medtech CMR Surgical is a global medical devices company dedicated to transforming surgery with Versius, a next-generation surgical robot. Today, in the largest ever medtech private financing round all over the world, the company picked up $600 million (nearly £425 million) in Series D funding round, taking it to a valuation of $3 billion.

Eyes to commercialise Versius globally

The investment round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Ally Bridge Group. Also, the round involved other new international investors, including RPMI Railpen, Tencent and Chimera, broadening the geographic scope of the shareholder base. Existing investors, including LGT and its affiliate impact investing platform Lightrock, Watrium, Cambridge Innovation Capital, PFM Health Sciences and GE Healthcare, also participated in the round.

The funds will be used to support the mission of CMR Surgical to make keyhole surgery accessible to more people all over the world. It will be deployed to increase the global commercialisation of Versius and develop its digital ecosystem. The new funds also support the continued development of the system’s digital framework, including new technological developments such as Versius Connect, an app for surgeons using the Versius surgical robotic system.

Per Vegard Nerseth, Chief Executive Officer of CMR, commented: “This latest financing equips CMR with significant funds to accelerate our mission of bringing Versius to hospitals worldwide whilst providing full flexibility to achieve our goals. This major injection of capital that now values us at $3billion not only reflects the level of interest we have seen in our product, but also the scale of the business, and will enable significant technology developments and global expansion. As the lead investor, SoftBank has a wealth of experience supporting disruptive business models and innovative technologies, and we look forward to leveraging their expertise and extensive ecosystem. I would also like to thank our existing investors for their long-term support.”

Yanni Pipilis, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers, commented: “Demand for minimally invasive robotic surgery is growing rapidly among surgeons and patients yet high costs have historically hindered adoption. CMR Surgical is transforming surgical robotics to convert underpenetrated open & laparoscopic procedures in new international markets where robotic surgeries are less prevalent such as India, the Middle East and Latin America. We look forward to working with CMR in its mission to make robotic keyhole surgery available to everyone.”

Charles Chon, Partner and Head of MedTech, Ally Bridge Group, said: “As life science-dedicated specialists and active investors in surgical robotics, we believe the user-friendliness and cost-effectiveness of the Versius system allows a meaningfully differentiated robotic experience that democratises robotic surgery both procedurally and geographically. We are proud to support CMR as a hallmark of UK innovation and a solution for all surgeons and their patients.”

Pioneer in surgical robots

Founded in 2014 by Luke Hares, Mark Slack, and Martin Frost, CMR Surgical has built the first made-in-Britain surgical robot, which helps surgeons perform keyhole surgery by mimicking the human arm and allowing greater precision, accuracy, and dexterity. It lets surgeons do more of these surgeries, which helps patients recover more quickly and with less readmission compared to open surgery.

Versius resets expectations of robotic surgery. It fits into virtually any operating room set-up and integrates seamlessly into existing workflows, thereby increasing the likelihood of robotic minimal access surgery (MAS). The portable and modular design of Versius allows the surgeon to only use the number of arms needed for a given procedure.

Versius gives surgeons the choice of optimised port placement alongside the dexterity and accuracy of small fully-wristed instruments. With 3D HD vision, easy-to-adopt instrument control, and a choice of ergonomic working positions, the open surgeon console has the potential to reduce stress and fatigue and allows for clear communication with the surgical team. Through the Versius Connect app, Versius Trainer and CMR clinical registry, Versius unleashes a wealth of insights to ultimately improve surgical care and support a surgeon’s continuous learning.