Bengaluru-based health technology start-up SigTuple Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has raised $5.8 million in series A round of funding led by existing investor Accel Partners, the company said on Monday.
Venture capital funds, including IDG Ventures, Endiya Partners, Pi Ventures, VH Capital, Axilor Ventures also participated in the round, along with existing investors Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and individual investors Amit Singhal (senior vice president, engineering, Uber), among others.
Previously, SigTuple raised $740,000 seed funding in October 2015, soon after launching in April of that year.
Founded by Rohit Kumar Pandey, Tathagato Rai Dastidar and Apurv Anand, SigTuple has built hardware and software on artificial intelligence technology to digitize pathological tests.
The company will use the fresh funds to expand the team, invest in product development and venture into overseas market.
SigTuple has developed a low-cost machine to digitize pathology, scanning blood, urine and semen samples. The artificial intelligent software can recognize images of blood to quantify normal and abnormal blood cells, to track sperm cells in microscopy videos and create digital sample test reports, making them accessible to a pathologist in any location.
The company has been using pathology tests and reports data from 15 labs and hospitals in Bengaluru to build the technology.
The company plans to start generating revenue this year by launching its product; it will work with labs and hospitals, claiming to make the pathologists’ more efficient.
“SigTuple will not replace the pathologist, but provide the technology support to remove inefficiencies; a given sample is manually tested under microscope which is subject to a person’s state of mind, and it is a fatigue driven medical analysis when one has to spend atleast 10-20 minutes per sample” said Pandey.
SigTuple’s machinery is able to generate reports within eight minutes, said Pandey.
He added that the technology will also enable labs to expand to tier 3 and 4 cities, where instead of investing in a lab, the machine can be kept to collect samples and a pathologist located in another city can examine the digital report.
Currently in pilot stage for blood testing samples, the company plans to roll out sample screening for urine and semen tests later in the year and plans to work with up to 150 labs in the next 18 months. In addition, also launch in south east Asia and Middle East markets.
“We want to handle tests which are voluminous in nature; that is, for the masses… the largest number of tests done globally include blood and urine tests, that also need a visual data analysis, making it most lucrative to begin with,” said Pandey.
SigTuple will generate revenue by way of selling the hardware machine and charge per report. Currently a team of 21, Pandey expects it to grow up to 50 by December.
Another start-up in healthcare diagnostics Advenio Technosys Pvt. Ltd raised $100,000 from Kstart in August 2016 and has developed artificial intelligence-based disease detection platforms.
Other health-tech start-ups such as Innov4Sight Medical Technologies and The Healthy Billion (Sekhmet Technologies Pvt. Ltd.) have also emerged -- they are building data-driven solutions to make existing healthcare practices more efficient.