Artificial intelligence-based healthcare startup Niramai Health Analytix has raised $6 million in a Series A funding round led by Japanese venture capital firm Dream Incubator.
Beenext, earlier investors pi Ventures, Ankur Capital, Axilor Ventures, and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal also participated in the round. The firm will use the funds for scaling up its presence in India, hiring top talent and getting additional regulatory approvals for international expansion.
Niramai has developed a patented technology called ‘Thermalytix’, which is a non-contact and non-invasive solution for early-stage breast cancer detection. The solution is clinically proven to be accurate for women of all age groups. Niramai’s low-cost, portable solution, which the company claimed is free from radiation, can be deployed not only at hospitals and diagnostic centres but rural camps as well.
“If institutionalised as a regular screening method, Thermalytix has the potential to save many lives not just from breast cancer deaths but eventually other diseases as well,” said Dr. Geetha Manjunath, CEO and CTO of Niramai.
In January 2018 Manjunath flew to one of the Google offices in the U.S for a ‘start-up boot camp’ where she pitched her venture and was mentored by Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet as well as internet pioneer Vint Cerf and Peter Norvig, Google’s director of research and an expert in AI.
“We believe in the potential of their technology to solve global health problems at scale,” said Eto Munehiko, managing director, Dream Incubator Advisory and Investment India. The disruptive AI-based technology is key to early detection of disease and saving lives especially where there is a “shortage of skilled medical professionals,” added Munehiko.
Manjunath founded Niramai in July 2016 along with Nidhi Mathur. Both women co-founders have previously worked with companies like Xerox Research and Hewlett Packard Labs.
AI diagnostic tools are helping doctors scour through data to better diagnose a variety of abnormal conditions. “It is the only way to bridge the huge demand and supply gap when it comes to quality healthcare,” said Manish Singhal, founding partner, pi Ventures.