California-based Karius, the medtech startup that uses a simple blood test to identify infectious disease has announced bagging $165 million in fresh a funding round. The round dubbed as Series B has been led by Japanese conglomerate Softbank through it's Vision Fund 2. General Catalyst and HBM Healthcare also participated in the round along with the existing backers that included the names of Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Prior to this round, the company had raised $25 million in the form of debt funding from Oxford Finance LLC in November 2018. The current round takes the total amount raised by the company to $254 million.
Founded in 2012 as a life science company in 2012 by Mickey Kertesz, Steve Quake, and Tim Blauwkamp. The company's microbial DNA tests are already being used in over 100 hospitals and health systems. The company intends to use the current round of investment for commercial expansion as well as for additional clinical studies.
Kertesz, the CEO of the firm talking about the company said, “Infectious diseases are a leading cause of mortality globally and an enormous area of unmet need. Clinical results from our early access program demonstrate that the Karius test allows clinicians to diagnose infections more rapidly and accurately. We’ve enabled doctors to devise precise and effective treatment plans for patients and speed recovery times. We look forward to further broadening the availability of our technology in the coming months.”
SoftBank Investment Advisers’ senior managing partner Deep Nishar commenting on the funding said, “Infectious diseases are the second leading cause of deaths worldwide. Karius' innovative [microbial cell-free DNA] technology accurately diagnoses infections that cannot be determined by other existing technologies. We are excited to support Karius and their mission to use genomic insights to fight infectious diseases and save lives.”
It will be interesting to see how the firm utilizes a new chunk of investment. The tests offered by the firm are about $2,000 which is not a small amount but the firm claims that it is way cheaper than surgery.
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