AUCKLAND, August 1, 2019, Medical device developer Surgical Design Studios (SDS), which designs transformative products that significantly improve the outcomes for patients with bowel cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, has today announced $4.3m has been raised in its first angel fundraising round led by Icehouse Ventures fund, “Tuhua 2.”
Founded two years ago at the University of Auckland’s Medical School Department of Surgery, with the assistance of the MedTech CORE and UniServices, SDS has developed a range of medical devices that dramatically reduce the time until patients can fully use their guts again following bowel surgery – from five months to two weeks.
This results in significant health benefits and reductions in clinical complications such as dehydration and infection. “We have seen very exciting results in the recent trials conducted at Auckland City Hospital, with these products able to deliver improvements that are not achievable with current standard of care,” says Co-founder and Colorectal Surgeon Greg O’Grady, who is the company’s Chief Scientific Officer.
SDS launched its angel funding round at the Icehouse Ventures’ Demo Day on June 13, where a dozen early-stage New Zealand companies presented to a diverse network of 500 investors.
The funds raised will help SDS bring its devices to market, with plans to launch in New Zealand later this year, and subsequently overseas following receipt of regulatory clearances.
CEO Garth Sutherland who joined SDS in May, says the experience of presenting at Demo Day and the support provided by Icehouse Ventures has been outstanding.
“This is an excellent round led by Icehouse Ventures because a number of the investors will contribute their expertise to our company,” says Mr Sutherland. “We have attracted investors with domain knowledge and networks in the sector we are targeting, and their contribution will accelerate our business both locally and in export markets.”
Also investing in this round are Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1, UniServices, Eden Ventures, and NZVIF.
“We love backing startups that can both become immensely valuable and improve people’s lives. SDS ticks both boxes,” says Icehouse Ventures CEO Robbie Paul.
“Further, there is nothing more exciting than seeing talent and expertise recycle back into the New Zealand startup ecosystem. The recent CEO appointment of veteran entrepreneur Garth Sutherland shows the value that investors put on people, as Garth was the founder of a company that was The Icehouse’s second-ever investment back in 2004.”
Icehouse Ventures fund Tuhua II has so far raised $26m in 2019, which is expected to be channeled into 25-30 NZ bold startups. This is in addition to the $10m raised by Icehouse Ventures this year for Eden Ventures III – and more than double the $11m that the first Tuhua Ventures fund raised when it launched in 2016.