Venture capital has a $250m flutter on ultrasound developer

The medtech industry is rumoured to have a new unicorn in its midst. Butterfly Network, which is developing a handheld ultrasound device that plugs into an iPhone, has raised $250m in a series D round at a reported valuation of $1.25bn. The Butterfly iQ is intended to sell for around $2,000, much less than the tens of thousands of dollars larger ultrasound systems cost, though buyers will also be tied to a software subscription. The Butterfly iQ received US 510(k) clearance a year ago under the name Poseidon, and is about to start shipping to customers; the idea is that doctors will be able to keep it on them as they traverse their hospital. Its US label covers its use for clinical applications including vascular, cardiac, abdominal, urological, foetal/obstetric, gynaecological and musculoskeletal imaging, as well as for procedural guidance. The wide utility and price point appear to have been enough to lure the third-largest medtech VC round so far this year.

Top 5 medtech VC rounds of 2018 to date
Date Round Company Focus Investment ($m) Investors
January 11 Series B Grail In vitro diagnostics 314.7 Undisclosed
May 21 Series C Grail In vitro diagnostics 300.0 6 Dimensions Capital; Ally Bridge Group; Blue Pool Capital; China Merchants Securities; CRF Investment; Hillhouse Capital Group; Huangpu River Capital; ICBC International; Sequoia Capital; Wuxi Nextcode
September 27 Series D Butterfly Network Diagnostic imaging 250.0 Fidelity Investments, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fosun Pharma, Jamie Dinan
February 14 Series E Heartflow Cardiology 240.0 Baillie Gifford; Existing shareholders; Wellington Management
March 1 Series B Helix Opco In vitro diagnostics 200.0 DFJ; Illumina; Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers; Mayo Clinic; Sutter Health; Warburg Pincus
Source: EvaluateMedTech.

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