Founded in 2017, Bionaut Labs arrived from stealth in March 2021, with plans to commercialize long-term research around drug delivery robots. The Los Angeles-based startup followed up on its first $20 million funding announcement today with a $43.2 million Series B, bringing the total raise to – you guessed it – $63.2 million. This round was led by Khosla Ventures and included new investors, Deep Insight, OurCrowd, PSPRS, Sixty Degree Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, GISEV Family Ventures, What if Ventures, Tintah Grace and Gaingels.
If you’ve followed the robots space, you’re probably familiar with the research that has been done on these tiny, remote-controlled medical robots. Bionaut’s own work now has a number of deadlines, including preclinical studies in 2023, followed by human patient clinical trials in subsequent years.
“There is a lack of innovation around treatments for conditions that cause immense suffering, largely because past failures have discouraged even the best researchers,” CEO and co-founder Michael Shpigelmacher said in a release. “Bionaut Labs remains committed to finding new ways to treat these devastating diseases, which are long overdue for a breakthrough.”
The start-up’s eponymous magnetically driven robots are designed to deliver treatments to the midbrain — a more direct application than standard systemically administered (intravenous, oral, etc.) drugs. The company has its eyes on a number of extremely disabling conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
This round of funding, meanwhile, will focus on treatments for malignant glioma brain tumors and Dandy-Walker syndrome. The money will also be spent on advancing R&D on its technology and achieving the aforementioned milestones.
Shpigelmacher and co-founder Aviad Maizels were both previously involved with PrimeSense, the Israel-based 3D imaging company behind Microsoft Kinect. That company was acquired by Apple in 2013 and eventually served as the basis for its Face ID technology.