Eliminates the need for large, expensive instruments, bringing scale, affordability and autonomy to vision testing
Heru Inc., the developer of wearable AI-powered vision diagnostics and augmentation software, closed its Series A financing of $30 million to advance the company’s eye diagnostic and vision correction technology platform.
The Series A funding round was led by global investment firm D1 Capital Partners with participation from SoftBank Ventures Opportunity Fund, Maurice R. Ferre, M.D., Frederic H. Moll, M.D., Krillion Ventures, and a consortium of investors with extensive experience developing, launching and scaling cutting-edge medical technologies. Originating as a spinout from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the Series A follows FDA registration and a $2.7 million seed round announced in December 2020.
An estimated 450 million people worldwide experience visual field defects or double vision, but limited access can mean long waits for eye appointments. Heru’s next-generation solution helps ensure that patients’ vision can be tested earlier so that diagnosed defects can be treated in a timely manner.
“This technology has the potential to fundamentally transform eye care,” said James Rogers of D1 Capital Partners, which led the Series A funding. “Heru’s technology is designed to reduce the burden on the practitioner, increase billing opportunities and expand the point of care beyond the traditional eye care practice.”
This financing round will advance the development of the company’s groundbreaking Heru RE: eye diagnostic and vision correction (augmentation) technology platform. Registered with the FDA, the Heru platform is designed to diagnose a wide range of diseases without the need for large capital equipment investment and dedicated exam rooms. The platform is designed to include a novel diagnostic technology capable of automatically detecting disease and supporting greater diagnostic care for eye care physicians.
“Combined with Heru AI and the power of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s dozens of patents, it is now possible to streamline diagnostic care as part of a comprehensive exam strategy through a wearable device,” said Heru founder and CEO, Mohamed Abou Shousha, M.D., Ph.D.
Heru holds 24 patents on vision augmentation and wearable diagnostics to date. Their patented diagnostics software is registered with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a Class I exempt device.
The company continues to work in collaboration with developers of next-generation augmented reality (AR) headsets and is compatible with off-the-shelf AR/VR headsets, including Microsoft and Magic Leap devices, and is developing vision augmentation software that is designed to correct the user’s vision defects in real time using AI.
Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute said:
“Heru’s technology was developed through decades of research, innovation and clinical validation within the accelerator program at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the number one eye hospital in the U.S. The full technology suite, which is licensed exclusively and perpetually to Heru by the Institute, improves the quality of life for people with visual defects.”
Maurice R. Ferre, M.D., Heru’s Chairman of the board of directors and participant in Series A and Seed Funding said:
“As a company that was birthed from Miami’s vibrant tech sector, it’s exciting to see how Heru is tackling an industry that has remained largely unchanged for decades, despite tremendous technological advancements in the medical field overall. In large part due to Miami’s strong academic community and research capabilities, as well as access to local, world-class talent, Heru brings affordability, access and autonomy to how the eye care industry treats its patients.”
John Trefethen, Chief Marketing Officer, Heru said:
“With Heru’s technology, eye care practitioners can now have access to an innovative, service-per-use model. Our innovative AR wearables, decades of research and clinical testing will help customers quickly aid in the diagnosis and treatment of visual defects.”
Norma Kenyon, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Miami said:
“Heru’s patented vision augmentation and wearable diagnostics software, built for the top commercially available AR/VR headsets, delivers autonomous, personalized and accessible eye care. Heru’s innovative technology optimizes disease detection, helping improve the lives for the millions of people who have visual defects.”
Heru Inc. (www.SeeHeru.com) has developed patented autonomous AI-powered vision diagnostics and augmentation software for use on commercially available AR/VR devices. This technology exceeds traditional standards of care in clinical equivalence, usability, cost, size, and portability. Heru is the only cross-platform solution that can autonomously diagnose vision defects and customize individual vision augmentation based on the user’s unique vision defects.
Heru originated as a spinout from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. In December 2020, Heru announced FDA registration and a seed round led by Fred Drasner, Maurice R. Ferre, M.D., Fred H. Moll, M.D., and a consortium of investors with extensive experience developing, launching, and scaling cutting-edge medical technologies.
About D1 Capital Partners
D1 Capital Partners is a global investment firm that operates across public and private markets. The firm combines the talent and operational excellence of a large, premier asset management firm with the flexible mandate and long-term time horizon of a family office. Founded in 2018 by Daniel Sundheim, D1 focuses on investing in the global internet, technology, telecom, media, consumer, healthcare, financial, industrial and real estate sectors.
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For more information, contact:
Mohamed Abou Shousha, Chief Executive Officer
John Trefethen, Chief Marketing Officer
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