Big Names Put Big Money Behind VR Surgery Start-Up

Ryan Black
APRIL 17, 2018

Vicarious Surgical has a minimal website, a fitting name, 3 listed employees, and a mission to democratize surgical technology through virtual reality and robotics.

It also has $16.75 million in new funding.

Although there’s little out there about the firm, the names participating in its newly-announced Series A round are pretty big. It was led by Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla’s prolific Khosla Ventures and Google executive Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. Bill Gates’ Gates Ventures and Yahoo! Co-founder Jerry Yang’s Cloud AME Ventures also participated. If that wasn’t enough, Salesforce founder and ubiquitous investor Marc Benioff joined the fray.

>>READ: Nailing Down the Numbers Surrounding Robotic Surgery

"We are thrilled to have support from such a strong group of investors, who will help us build out our team as we continue to develop our technology," Vicarious Surgical co-founder and CEO Adam Sachs said in a statement. He added that his company believes that the “best surgical technology should not be limited to major hospitals.”

The new funding will go toward expanding the company’s robotics and software teams for its next phase of growth, according to the announcement. The most robust of its website’s 3 pages is the one soliciting applications for various job openings.

Today’s notice doesn’t go into much further detail—it's just 2 exposition paragraphs and 3 quotes. “Vicarious Surgical has achieved what has been the goal of surgical robotics since the field's inception—to shrink the surgeon and put them inside the patient,” it says. Whether that’s actually been the goal of the field since the start is probably a debatable statement, especially if taken literally.

The investor quotes continue a sense of heightened ambition: Innovation Endeavors partner Dror Berman says the company is working to “give surgeons superpowers” by “exponentially improving visibility and accuracy in minimally invasive surgery.” Samir Kaul of Khosla Ventures says his firm is proud to partner with the company “as they develop surgical robotics around the needs of surgeons and patients worldwide.”

The brief company description at the bottom adds that “Vicarious Surgical is applying the latest innovation in robotics and virtual reality to create a new paradigm in minimally invasive surgeries.”

Sachs co-founded Vicarious in 2014 with Chief Technology Officer Sammy Khalifa and Chief Medical Officer Barry Greene, MD. Sachs and Khalifa are both recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates—Khalifa in 2012 and Sachs in 2013, according to their LinkedIn profiles—while Greene is a veteran pharmaceutical executive. The operation is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The new Series A round brings the startup’s total funding to somewhere over $20 million. In 2016, they raised $3.2 million in a venture round—which Khosla Ventures also participated in—and before that they put together an undisclosed amount in a seed round, which was led by the virtual reality-obsessed VC firm Rothenberg Ventures.

Related Coverage:
Startup Looks for Its Own Lane With Hands-Free VR Therapy
EchoPixel Announces $8.5 Million Series A Round
Nailing Down the Numbers Surrounding Robotic Surgery

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