Heru Inc., a developer of wearable AI-powered vision diagnostics and augmentation software, closed on a $30 million financing round.
The financing round will advance the development of the company’s Heru RE: eye diagnostic and vision correction (augmentation) technology platform.
The Series A funding round was led by global investment firm D1 Capital Partners with participation from SoftBank Ventures Opportunity Fund, Maurice R. Ferre, M.D., Frederic H. Moll, M.D., Krillion Ventures and other investors. Originating as a spinout from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the Series A follows FDA registration and a $2.7 million seed round announced in December 2020.
An estimated 450 million people worldwide experience visual field defects or double vision, but limited access can mean long waits for eye appointments, the company noted in a press release. Heru’s technology “helps ensure that patients’ vision can be tested earlier so that diagnosed defects can be treated in a timely manner.”
“This technology has the potential to fundamentally transform eye care,” said James Rogers of D1 Capital Partners, which led the Series A funding. “Heru’s technology is designed to reduce the burden on the practitioner, increase billing opportunities and expand the point of care beyond the traditional eye care practice.”
The Heru platform is designed to diagnose a wide range of diseases without the need for large capital equipment investment and dedicated exam rooms. The platform is designed to include a novel diagnostic technology capable of automatically detecting disease and supporting greater diagnostic care for eyecare physicians, according to the release.
“Combined with Heru AI and the power of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s dozens of patents, it is now possible to streamline diagnostic care as part of a comprehensive exam strategy through a wearable device,” said Heru founder and CEO Mohamed Abou Shousha, MD, PhD.
Heru holds 24 patents on vision augmentation and wearable diagnostics. Its patented diagnostics software is registered with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration as a Class I exempt device.
The company continues to work in collaboration with developers of next-generation augmented reality (AR) headsets and is compatible with off-the-shelf AR/VR headsets, including Microsoft and Magic Leap devices, and is developing vision augmentation software that is designed to correct the user’s vision defects in real time using AI.