Arali Ventures backs Norwegian healthtech startup Oivi

Arali Ventures backs Norwegian healthtech startup Oivi
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1 Oct, 2019

Oslo-headquartered healthtech startup Oivi AS has raised $500,000 in a funding round led by Bengaluru-based venture capital firm Arali Ventures. 

Apart from Arali Ventures, angel investors from India, Norway, China and the Netherlands also participated in the funding round, said an official statement issued by Oivi AS.

The funds will help the startup develop early prototypes and prepare for production stages, Khaleel Udyawar, co-founder at Oivi, told TechCircle.

Prior to the current round of funding, Oivi had raised over $600,000 from angel investors, Udyawar added. 

The funding round will also help the startup promote research and development (R&D), accelerate product development efforts, facilitate early-stage diagnostics and understand the market potential, the statement said.

The Norwegian startup is primarily focused on early detection of diabetic retinotherapy (DR). 

Oivi is currently developing a hand-held screening device to automate image capture of retinas. The device can be deployed in primary health care centres with minimal training, added the statement.

The company's solutions use artificial intelligence to carry out diagnostics via captured images. The diagnostics solution, which runs on embedded neural computing, helps retinal experts reduce screening time. 

“Oivi’s vision is to eliminate unnecessary blindness by providing a low-cost camera for retinal screening, with fully automated image capture and diagnostics. The startup wants to eradicate blindness among patients with diabetes, scanning every eye, detecting early signs of DR, while helping the ophthalmologists focus more on treatment instead of screening for DR and manually scrutinising retinal images,” said the founders of Oivi AS.

“The embedded neural compute chip which is hosting Oivi’s proprietary deep learning algorithms allows for pupil tracking which will enable fully automated retinal image capture, and also screening for diabetic eye diseases,” said Rajiv Raghunandan, managing partner, Arali Ventures.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Oivi operates in India through a subsidiary in Bengaluru. The company was founded in 2017 by Anders Eikenes, co-founder of security software startup Huddly, Udyawar, former engineer at Cisco Systems, Jukka Alasirnio, former executive at enterprise solutions provider Vista Point Technologies and Hans Einar Øverjordet, engineer at vending machine manufacturer Tomra Systems. 

Arali Ventures is a Bengaluru-based seed-stage venture capital firm that focuses on enterprise software products such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), cloud, image analytics and optical communications, among other things. 

In August, Arali Ventures participated in the seed funding round of CynLr. The Bengaluru-based robotics startup builds visual object intelligence for industrial robots. 

Recent developments pertaining to the health-tech sector:

In August, TechCircle first reported that mobile-first healthcare services platform Phable has raised $150,000 from American venture capital firm SOSV. 

Onco, an online platform for cancer patients, recently raised $7 million in a Series A round. Japanese venture capital firms Dream Incubator, Accel and Chiratae Ventures participated in the funding round. 

Earlier this year, Healthians, an online medical diagnostics platform, acqui-hired healthcare-centric logistics support startup Healthy Labs. As part of the deal, the latter’s entire team of 30 people joined Yuvraj Singh-backed Healthians.