PHILADELPHIA & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Velano Vascular, a medical technology company with the goal of reducing needle sticks during the inpatient blood draw procedure, today announced that the company has closed a $5 million Series A financing. Investors include First Round Capital, White Owl Capital, Kapor Capital, and Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), in addition to health-industry angels and two thought-leading hospitals. Velano Vascular plans to use proceeds from this financing to move into clinical evaluation and early commercialization with select hospital partners.
“Starting with the basic premise of replacing an antiquated technology – phlebotomy needles, which date back centuries – to dramatically improve patient care has led us to an incredible business opportunity that benefits patients, practitioners and hospitals alike. We are encouraged by the level of support from this notable group of investors,” said Eric M. Stone, Velano Vascular’s co-founder and chief executive officer. Stone founded the company in 2012 with Pitou Devgon, MD, Velano Vascular’s president and inventor of the company’s patented technology.
Initial funding for the company was provided by a series of angel investors in 2012, followed by an investment from Startup PHL, a program initiated by the City of Philadelphia and First Round Capital to facilitate public and private partnerships for Philadelphia’s startup community. First Round Capital led the company’s latest round of funding, with participation by Kapor Capital (CA), Safeguard Scientifics (PA), White Owl Capital (NY), Griffin Hospital (CT), and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (PA).
“Velano Vascular’s proprietary technology has the potential to radically transform a very common and unpleasant medical procedure,” said Josh Kopelman, founder and partner, First Round Capital. “In addition, the company has the kind of impressive and experienced leadership that we look for when evaluating investments in game-changing technologies.”
Paul Molloy, MBA, CEO of ClearFlow and former president of Teleflex Vascular, and Jack Lord, MD, former COO, University of Miami Health System and former CIO of Humana, serve with Stone and Devgon on the Velano Vascular board of directors.
The company’s advisory board includes Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, past president, American Nurses Association; Bridget Duffy, M.D., chief medical officer, Vocera; John Gormally, former vice president, Becton Dickinson; Jean Proehl, RN, CEN, former president, Emergency Nurses Association; and David J. Reibstein, The William S. Woodside Professor at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
“In their pursuit of excellence, hospitals aim to increase operating efficiency, improve clinical quality and enhance their patients’ experiences,” said Patrick Charmel, president and chief executive officer of Griffin Hospital, which participated in the Series A financing along with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). “It requires innovation and a sustained commitment to providing patient-centered care to ensure that these objectives do not become mutually exclusive. By providing a ‘needleless’ alternative to painful and anxiety-provoking venipuncture for routine blood drawing of hospitalized patients, the Velano Vascular team will help us achieve our triple aim and, in doing so, benefit our patients and caregivers.”
About Velano Vascular
Velano Vascular technologies transform patient care by enhancing the blood-draw experience during hospitalization. The company's innovative medical technologies aim to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with these procedures for patients while improving safety and efficiency for providers. Founded by a patient advocate and a physician, Velano Vascular is backed by First Round Capital, Kapor Capital, Safeguard Scientifics, White Owl Capital, Griffin Hospital, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and several health-industry veterans. Velano Vascular’s clinical collaborators include several of the leading hospital systems in the United States. More information is available at www.velanovascular.com.
About First Round Capital
First Round is a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs and companies, including Uber, Square and Warby Parker. Through custom-built software, incredible in-person experiences, and a host of other unique services, we help tiny companies get big while constantly reimagining the role of venture capital. For more information, visit www.firstround.com.
About Griffin Hospital
Griffin Hospital is a 160-bed acute care community hospital serving more than 130,000 residents of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Region. Griffin Hospital also serves as the flagship hospital for Planetree, an international leader in patient-centered care and has received national recognition for creating a facility and approach to patient care that is responsive to the needs of patients. Many healthcare facilities around the world send visitors to Griffin Hospital and incorporate its concepts into their healthcare models. Griffin Hospital is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt subsidiary of the Griffin Health Services Corporation. Griffin Hospital has more than 300 active and courtesy physicians who have admitting privileges. Griffin Hospital is affiliated with the Yale School of Medicine, The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, and accredited by The Joint Commission.
Griffin Hospital is recognized for having industry-leading patient satisfaction ratings and has received numerous quality and clinical excellence awards. It is the only hospital to be named to FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for 10 consecutive years, and was the only Connecticut hospital to be recognized three times by the Joint Commission as a "Top Quality Performer" on key quality measures. For more information please visit www.griffinhealth.org.
About Kapor Capital
Based in Oakland, California, Kapor Capital invests in seed stage tech startups that generate both economic returns and positive social impact. We believe diversity in tech is a strategic priority to the industry. For more information please visit www.kaporcapital.com.
About Safeguard Scientifics
Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE) has a distinguished track record of fostering innovation and building market leaders. For six decades, Safeguard has been providing growth capital and operational support to entrepreneurs across an evolving spectrum of industries. Today, Safeguard is focused specifically on two sectors—healthcare and technology. Recent successful exits include Alverix (acquired by Becton Dickinson for $40 million); Crescendo Bioscience (acquired by Myriad Genetics for $270 million); NuPathe (acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for $144 million); and ThingWorx (acquired by PTC for initial proceeds of $112 million). For more information, please visit www.safeguard.com or Follow Us on Twitter @safeguard.
About The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.
About White Owl Capital
White Owl Capital Partners is a New York City-based private investment firm focused on finding exceptional entrepreneurs and providing the capital and advice to help them build great companies. White Owl’s investments span several industries (tech, healthcare, media, banking, logistics, and energy) and geographic regions (US, Canada, UK, Russia, China).