UK tech startup mOm, which seeks to develop a lifesaving infant incubator, has raised £630,000 in seed funding in a round led by MaSa Partners.
Other investors in the round included Holly Branson (as part of the Virgin Group); Johannes Heine; The London Co Investment Fund; and MassChallenge advisory board members Lord Rumi Verjee (as part of the The Rumi Foundation) and Dr. Joshua Boger, founder of Vertex Pharmaceutical.
James Roberts, founder & CEO, said: “It is still mind blowing for me to see my project, which was originally conceived in my final year of university, go on to become a reality and secure funding from a great team of investors. This is just the beginning, and we are working hard to bring the product to market and ensure it is able to have widespread impact in helping to reduce premature deaths.”
mOm’s was first conceived to provide incubation technology in refugee camps, after Roberts, a design graduate from Loughborough University, watched a documentary about the war in Syria.
With its design – which is claimed makes the incubator approximately 90% lighter than conventional devices – mOm seeks to reduce the 1 million infant deaths that take place due to premature births every year.
Dr. Alan Davies, the former chief medical officer of GE Healthcare, and a member of mOm’s advisory board, commented: “I have previously worked as a paediatrician in Newborn and Neonatal Intensive Care in Australia, where I was extensively involved in newborn transport across long distances, and I have more recently supported and researched newborn and obstetric care in rural sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Malawi and Tanzania.
“I see a huge need for mOm’s new incubator concept and can clearly see the potential to have a great impact, throughout the world, saving more newborn lives,” he concluded.
The news comes almost two years after Roberts won the James Dyson award for innovation and a £30,000 cash injection for his low-cost inflatable incubator.