Breast cancer screening startup Niramai raises Series A funding

Breast cancer screening startup Niramai raises Series A funding
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
25 Feb, 2019

Breast cancer screening startup Niramai Health Analytix Pvt. Ltd has raised $6 million in a Series A round of funding led by Tokyo-headquartered management consulting firm Dream Incubator, a company statement said.

Singapore-based venture fund Beenext and existing investors pi Ventures, Ankur Capital, Axilor Ventures and Binny Bansal also participated in the round, the statement added.

The Bengaluru-based startup will use the fresh funds to scale its operations in India, hire top talent and get additional regulatory approvals for international expansion.

Eto Munehiko, managing director of Dream Incubator Advisory and Investment India, will join the Niramai board, the statement added.

Niramai, which stands for non-invasive risk assessment with machine intelligence, uses big data analytics and artificial intelligence, instead of thermal images, to detect breast cancer at the early stage. It was founded in July 2016 by Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur, former employees of Xerox Research Center and Hewlett-Packard Labs, respectively.

The company’s screening method is based on the principles of thermography, which can detect tumors five years before a mammography or a clinical exam can do so.

Niramai’s USP is that its device is non-invasive, radiation-free and can be used on women below 40-45 years of age, detecting cancer at an early stage. The startup offers end-consumers only a screening test while it sells its devices to hospitals and diagnostic centres. It also offers training, installation and service at more than 20 hospitals and diagnostic centres.

The startup offers its services in Bengaluru, Mysore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Dehradun and Pune.

In November last year, media reports stated that the firm had raised $6-7 million from Bansal, Ankur Capital, Axilor Ventures and pi Ventures.

In April last year, Niramai raised an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round from pi Ventures, Ankur Capital, Axilor and 500Startups.

Deals in the space

Although genomics and high-end diagnostics is a nascent sector in India, health-tech startups and diagnostic ventures have attracted significant investor interest of late.

In August 2017, Bengaluru-based genomics-based diagnostics and research firm MedGenome Labs Pvt. Ltd raised $30 million (Rs 192 crore) in a Series C round led by existing investor Sequoia Capital and new investor Sofina SA.

In March 2017, iGenetic Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd, which offers diagnostics tests ranging from biochemistry to advanced molecular genetics, had said that Manipal Education and Medical Group, and UK-based development financial institution CDC Group Plc had pumped Rs 133 crore into the company.