NeRV, a startup offering a sensory platform designed for the healthtech sector, has closed a $3.32 million CAD ($2.65 million USD) seed round of funding. NERv has been able to grow its team from 16 at the start of the pandemic to 24.
The seed round was led by returning investor SOSV, with participation from Graphene Ventures, OneValley, Northspring Capital Partners, Boutique Venture Partners, and Threshold Impact. A number of additional undisclosed strategic investors, angels, and physicians also invested in the round. NERv has developed a sensory device that is aimed to help doctors monitor postoperative patients remotely, by detecting potential complications.
The startup’s device can attach to catheters and wound drains, and detects leakages that can lead to critical, sometimes fatal, complications. NERv was co-founded in 2014 by CEO Youssef Helwa and COO Amr Abdelgawad, two University of Waterloo engineering graduates. The startup’s executive team also comprises CTO Abdallah El-Falou and lead scientist Mohamed Okasha.
The startup raised $1 million in pre-seed funding in 2019, and has raised approximately $2 million in non-dilutive funding and government grants since its founding. In an interview, Helwa told BetaKit the startup has been busy since raising its pre-seed funding. In 2019, NERv was working on a sensory platform, but since then has developed an all-in-one platform, consisting of both software and hardware, that can monitor patients remotely.
NERv commenced its first round of clinical studies early last year. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the startup started its multi-site feasibility study led by researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital and Hamilton Health Sciences. In the last year or so, NERv has moved from the prototype phase to what Helwa called a “product launch phase.”
The device still needs approval from health regulators in order to be sold to hospitals and physicians. Part of the new funding will help NERv to secure regulatory approval for its technology. Helwa expects to receive the first approval from Health Canada at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year. After that, NERv will begin selling its product and will later pursue regulatory approval in the United States as well as markets in the Middle East.
Helwa said although hospitals cannot commit to purchasing a medical product before it receives regulatory approval, the engagement from hospitals NERv is working with has been “very positive” thus far. The remainder of the funding will go towards completing clinical studies and manufacturing more of the devices.
Read the full Betakit article here