iWalk Chases Down $17M More for “Personal Bionics”
Prosthetics is a hot field these days. Coming off track star Oscar Pistorius’s Olympic efforts and some renewed interest in robotic exoskeletons for physical therapy, two things are clear: the technology is impacting lives, and there is plenty of money to be made.
Now Bedford, MA-based iWalk, the developer of a powered prosthetic foot and ankle, says it has closed a $17 million Series D equity financing round led by Gilde Healthcare Partners. Previous investors General Catalyst, Sigma Partners, and WFD Ventures also participated in the round.
The new money brings iWalk’s total venture funding to more than $50 million—which means the company definitely qualifies as one of Boston’s biggest technology bets. Tim McCarthy, the company’s CEO, says in a statement that the cash will help his team “grow the organization to better support the global demand for our next generation” of products.
iWalk, which used to be headquartered in Cambridge, was started in 2006 by Hugh Herr, an MIT Media Lab professor (and amputee himself). The company’s vision is to produce what it calls “personal bionics” for rehabilitation and augmentation—that is, powered devices that behave in a smart way to enhance people’s strength and mobility. iWalk has a long way to go, but it is starting with a lower-leg device, called the BiOM Ankle System (fka PowerFoot), which it demoed at the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association’s national assembly in Boston last week. The product is currently available through a network of prosthetics centers, VA Medical Centers, and the Department of Defense.