NANO-X IMAGING LTD , an innovative medical imaging technology company, has secured over $110M in crossover equity investments from global investors since December 2019. Funds raised are planned to primarily support the rollout of the Nanox.ARC deployments worldwide. Nanox’s valuation is not being publicly disclosed, but a news report in the Israeli press from December said that one option the startup was considering was an IPO at a $500 million valuation.
Israeli-based A-Labs Advisory and Finance Ltd. was the lead advisor to the financing round. The financing round involved a global mix of strategic, institutional and private investors including SK Telecom, Industrial Alliance, Foxconn, Yozma Korea and others. The financing round was initiated in November 2019 and was delayed in closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far the company has raised a total of $137 million.
Nanox is building a two-part offering comprising a low-cost, in-hospital digital-imaging device (called Nanox.ARC) and an accompanying end-to-end software platform for image storage, analysis, clinical decision support and billing (called Nanox.Cloud). The Nanox.Arc will also be significantly safer in terms of radiation exposure compared to existing CT scanners.
“It is easy to say that we are aiming to change the world,” says Ran Poliakine, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nanox. “The main challenge with such statements is always the execution. We have a bold vision to increase early detection of medical conditions that are discoverable by X-ray. We are actively working to deploy a global medical imaging service infrastructure that may turn this dream into reality. We cannot do it without partners and investors who share our vision and support our plan. I thank our investors at SK Telecom, Foxconn, Industrial Alliance and Yozma Korea for their faith and trust in the Nanox team and vision.”
As of last week, the company boasted deployment agreements in 13 countries across five continents. Since November 2019, Nanox has signed agreements for the deployment of thousands of units of the Nanox System, its innovative medical imaging system and diagnostics services in eleven global regions. The Company aims to revolutionize early-detection healthcare by deploying a global medical imaging infrastructure at an affordable price-per-scan service model to maximize availability and accessibility of medical imaging to all socio-economic communities.
“The innovative approach of preventive healthcare and the MEMs X-ray source have driven us, The Yozma Group Asia, to invest in Nanox. Potentially reduced radiation exposure and lowered cost can set a new standard of regular health checkups,” says Wonjae Lee, Head of Asia Pacific and Managing Partner of Yozma Group. “I’m honored to be a part of the Nanox project not only because its technology is groundbreaking and contributing to mankind, but also because it’s the best example of multinational collaboration. As a strategic investor, The Yozma Group Asia is eager to make a global success case of Asian and Israeli collaboration by merging Nanox innovative technology and Korea’s outstanding manufacturing knowhow.”
The Nanox system is based around proprietary technology related to digital X-rays. Digital radiography is a relatively new area in the world of imaging that relies on digital scans rather than X-ray plates to capture and process images.
Nanox says the ARC comes in at 70 kg versus 2,000 kg for the average CT scanner, and production costs are around $10,000 compared to $1-3 million for the CT scanner.
But in addition to being smaller (and thus cheaper) machines with much of the processing of images done in the cloud, the Nanox system, according to CEO and founder Ran Poliakine, can make its images in a tiny fraction of a second, making them significantly safer in terms of radiation exposure compared to existing methods.
Imaging has been in the news a lot of late because it has so far been one of the most accurate methods for detecting the progress of COVID-19 in patients or would-be patients in terms of how it is affecting patients’ lungs and other organs. While the dissemination of equipment like Nanox’s definitely could play a role in handling those cases better, the ultimate goal of the startup is much wider than that.
Ultimately, the company hopes to make its devices and cloud-based scanning service ubiquitous enough that it would be possible to run early detection, preventative scans for a much wider proportion of the population.
“What is the best way to fight cancer today? Early detection. But with two-thirds of the world without access to imaging, you may need to wait weeks and months for those scans today,” said Poliakine.
The startup’s mission is to distribute some 15,000 of its machines over the next several years to bridge that gap, and it’s getting there through partnerships. In addition to the SK Telecom deal it’s announcing today, last March, Nanox inked a $174 million deal to distribute 1,000 machines across Australia, New Zealand and Norway in partnership with a company called the Gateway Group.
The SK Telecom investment is an interesting development that underscores how carriers see 5G as an opportunity to revisit what kinds of services they resell and offer to businesses and individuals, and SK Telecom specifically has singled out healthcare as one obvious and big opportunity.
“Telecoms carriers are looking for opportunities around how to sell 5G,” said Ilung Kim, SK Telecom’s president, in an interview. “Now you can imagine a scanner of this size being used in an ambulance, using 5G data. It’s a game changer for the industry.”
Looking ahead, Nanox will continue to ink partnerships for distributing its hardware and reselling its cloud-based services for processing the scans, but Poliakine said it does not plan to develop its own technology beyond that to gain insights from the raw data. For that, it’s working with third parties — currently three AI companies — that plug into its APIs, and it plans to add more to the ecosystem over time.
Nanox, founded in 2018 by the serial entrepreneur Ran Poliakine, is an Israeli corporation that is developing a commercial-grade digital X-ray source designed to be used in real-world medical imaging applications. Ran Poliakine founded Powermat, the company that pioneered wireless charging. Nanox’s novel technology will significantly reduce the costs of medical imaging systems and plans to seek collaborations with world-leading healthcare organizations and companies to provide affordable, early detection imaging service for all. For more information, please visit www.nanox.vision.
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