Yamaha Motor Ventures leads $2 million seed investment in Australian healthtech startup loop+
loop+, an early stage health technology startup based in Australia developing a pressure and movement tracking device for wheelchair-bound patients, has raised $2 million (AUD $3 million) seed round of funding. The round was led by Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley (“YMVSV”), the strategic business development and investment arm of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., with additional investments from Giant Leap Fund, Eleanor Venture and other investors based in Australia.
The investment Underscores Yamaha Motor’s Focus in Driving Business Innovation in the Health Technology Sector. Leveraging the USD $100 million Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund (the “Fund”), the loop+ investment reflects YMVSV’s growing interest in teams working to develop technological solutions to major healthcare challenges.
Founded in 2017 by Kath Hamilton, New South Wales, Australia-based loop+ is an early-stage digital therapeutic device manufacturer using sensor technology to continuously monitor patients with chronic conditions at home who are at high risk of health complications. The platform gives patients and their circle of care visibility into how their actions and daily behaviors contribute to their health outcomes.
The loop+’s remote rehabilitation platform also accesses sensor technology to translate care plans from the clinic into the home, creating a feedback loop with clinicians in patient’s everyday lives. Its first product is loop+ an activity tracker for wheelchair users that creates a positive feedback look with clinicians and carers to monitor health risks in everyday life. For the first time, wheelchair users who either can’t feel their lower limbs or are non-verbal and unable to communicate their discomfort, have a way to visualize what’s going on with their body. Remote monitoring supports early detection and intervention of pressure wounds, respiratory issues and scoliosis.
Commenting on the funding, George Kellerman, CEO & Managing Director of YMVSV, said: “Yamaha Motor is actively supporting innovation in the health tech sector to help bring technology to the market to address challenges and leverage opportunities for better patient care. loop+ is one such company, taking a preventative health approach to help avoid suffering and lower costs associated with prevalent pressure-related conditions for wheelchair users.”
“The active monitoring of wheelchair bound patients offers a variety of benefits to the patient, caregivers and, ultimately, the cost of that care,” said Rebecca Woodcock, Principal and Global Health Tech lead for YMVSV who joined the loop+ board of directors December 5, 2019. “We are looking forward to working with the loop+ team to explore the product’s potential and support its global market introduction.”
The loop+ platform features a wheelchair sensor mat that continuously measures pressure, position, environmental conditions like humidity, and general activity throughout the day. This alerts healthcare professionals to potential risks like pressure wounds allowing for early intervention and prevention as well as to promote healthy wheelchair habits and reduce the acceleration of scoliosis and respiratory issues.
Kath Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of loop+, said: “It is tremendously exciting to be working with Yamaha Motor Ventures to scale our enterprise and deliver the loop+ device to wheelchair users.”
Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley is a wholly-owned subsidiary of YMC. Founded in 2015 in support of YMC’s long-term goal to contribute to society through business, YMVSV manages the Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund, a USD $100 million investment fund with a 10-year lifecycle focused on seed to Series B investments. Headquartered in the home of innovation, Silicon Valley, Calif., YMVSV offers a wealth of business development resources to startup companies to drive innovation forward in the fields of mobility, sustainability, robotics, food and agriculture, health and wellness, and aviation.