Activ Surgical raises $45 million Series B round to give surgeons eagle eyes

Activ Surgical, a Boston-based digital surgery company, announced a $45 million Series B round on Thursday. The round comes during a critical year for Activ Surgical. It’s in the process of developing new tools that give surgeons the ability to see otherwise invisible structures, and has plans to roll out those tools in the coming months. 

Activ Surgical raises $45 million Series B round to give surgeons eagle eyes

The first of those tools is the company’s hardware component, called ActivSight, which allows surgeons to see things that would otherwise be invisible, like blood flow through microscopic vessels inside tissue. The hardware, which received FDA 510(k) clearance in April of 2021, fits between any type of endoscope and a white light camera system. 

With the push of a button, ActivSight already allows features like blood flow (usually invisible, unless injectable dyes are used) to light up like a Christmas tree. But unlike injectable dye methods, ActivSight can visualize blood flow in real time (i.e. the images of tissue change color if blood flow slows or stops). 

“It’s the only system in the world that intraoperatively can visualize things like blood flow without the injection of any dyes,” says CEO Todd Usen. 

This most recent round will be used to support the commercialization of ActivSight, which is expected to go live in hospital systems in seven states in Q4 2021 or into next year. It will also be used to help glean a CE certification — a marketing clearance that allows medical devices to be marketed in Europe — which will allow ActivSight to roll out in seven European countries in 2022. Finally, the round will support the buildout of Activ’s more ambitious AI-based projects, which will allow the ActivSight devices to identify even more key structures for surgeons who use it. 

The round of funding was led by Cota Capital. Including Cota Capital, the round will bring seven new investors to Activ Surgical: BAM Elevate, Magnetar Capital, Mint Ventures, Castor Ventures, Dream One Vision and Nvidia. The company has raised $77 million in funding so far. 

Activ Surgical first made headlines in 2016 for creating a robot that performed the first totally autonomous suturing of soft tissue. The company’s founder, Peter Kim, holds a patent for a type of robot assisted surgery. But despite this, the company isn’t focused on building robots. 

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