Daktari Diagnostics and BL Healthcare Find Early Investors: More Signs of Life for Medtech Startups

8/27/09

Here are two reasons to believe that there are investors out there willing to make a bet on your young startup: BL Healthcare and Daktari Diagnostics, both of which reported in SEC documents over the past few days that they’ve raised private capital.

Formed last year, Daktari appears to be the younger of the two life sciences startups. The Arlington, MA-based firm reported that it raised $2.5 million of a proposed $3 million in financing. The company says on its website that it’s developing a handheld device that integrates microfluidics and electrochemical sensing to measure CD4 immune cell levels in patients. The CD4 test is a standard measurement of HIV progression, and the firm indicates that there’s a big need for its technology in developing countries.

Xconomy has learned that the investors in the round include Waltham, MA, medical devices investor Norwich Ventures, Partners Innovation Fund, the venture arm of Boston-based Partners HealthCare System, and Mass Medical Angels, a Boston-area angel group that focuses on healthcare investments, according to a e-mails from company directors Roger Kitterman and Aaron Sandoski. Kitterman is both a partner at Partners Innovation Fund and a cofounder of Mass Medical Angels. He noted in his e-mail that Mass Medical Angels cofounder Rich Anders also invested in the company. Sandoski is managing director and co-founder of Norwich.

Daktari was founded by Bill Rodriguez, the former chief medical officer of President Bill Clinton’s William J. Clinton Foundation, and Mehmet Toner, a professor of biomedical engineering in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, according to the firm’s website. The firm’s technology was licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital and Purdue University. We were unable to contact the company this morning, but we hope to learn more about this firm in the days to come.

Foxboro, MA-based BL Healthcare’s founder and CEO Michael Mathur apparently doesn’t give up. I first interviewed him about the company—which makes an FDA-cleared TV set-top box designed for the remote healthcare market—about two and a half years ago, at which time he told me he was on the hunt for about $3 million to $5 million in Series A venture capital. An SEC filing this week shows that Mathur has managed to raise $2.9 million of a planned $5 million financing round—right around where he told me he wanted to be with the Series A.

The company’s TVx box is engineered to offer video conferencing, on-demand health videos, vital signs monitoring, and other features to enable patients to receive healthcare outside of traditional medical clinics in places such as their homes. Mathur chatted with my former Mass High Tech colleague Rodney Brown about the financing yesterday.

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