SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - SoftBank Group led a US$100 million (S$136 million) investment in Biofourmis, a software start-up that predicts problems for patients with heart conditions.
SoftBank’s financing came from Vision Fund 2, a successor to its initial US$100 billion fund. Existing investors EDBI of Singapore, MassMutual Ventures, Openspace Ventures and Sequoia Capital also joined the Series C round, according to a statement.
The company, which was founded in Singapore before relocating its base to Boston, uses artificial intelligence to provide personalized care.
The start-up is running a programme in Singapore monitoring the condition of Covid-19 patients. The strain the pandemic is placing on national healthcare systems is driving interest in technology with the potential to facilitate care automatically and remotely.
Biofourmis said it plans to use the capital to develop digital solutions across cardiology, respiratory, oncology and pain management for patients in the US, China and Japan, chief executive officer Kuldeep Singh Rajput said in an interview.
MR Rajput, who turns 29 this month, said he wasn’t planning to raise capital after closing a US$35 million Series B round in May 2019. But SoftBank contacted him after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We believe Biofourmis is a leader in using AI and machine learning-based solutions to advance digital therapeutics,” said Greg Moon, Managing Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Vision Fund 2, which had invested US$2.1 billion in seven start-ups as at the end of June, also has stakes in drug delivery firm Alto Pharmacy and blood testing firm Karius.
The conglomerate’s cash reserves are growing as it slashes its stakes in core parts of its portfolio. The Vision Fund is invested in many of the best-known startups around the world, with the portfolio hit hard by the pandemic.