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Medical Technology Startup Forus Raises $5M In Series A From IDG Ventures, Accel Partners

Venture capital firms Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India are making their second co-investment in the medical technology space by backing Forus Health Pvt. Ltd. The Bangalore-based company, which is into low cost affordable medical technology and solutions business, has raised Series A funding of $5 million from the two venture capital funds.

IDG Ventures India and Accel Partners (then Erasmic) invested $3.5 million in Perfint Healthcare Pvt Ltd, a Chennai-based medical equipment company, back in 2007. Perfint went on to raise $7.2 million in Series B round led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Accel Partners  and IDG Ventures in July 2010.

Forus' flagship product is 3nethra, a portable, low cost, non-mydriatic, non-invasive pre-screening ophthalmology solution, which  can detect cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retina, refraction and cornea problems. 3nethra can be operated by a minimally trained technician and deployed in remote areas.

Forus also plans to develop other medical technologies that address healthcare delivery problems. Funding will be used to drive manufacturing and sales of 3nethra and for R&D on new and existing products.

"Technology can help us rethink healthcare delivery, and perhaps technology can transform healthcare from being cure-centric to prevention-centric and hence have a deeper impact in people's lives. We will focus on developing technologies for early screening  which will help the  doctors to focus on needy patients only," said Shyam Vasudeva Rao, president & CTO of Forus.

Forus is led by Rao and K Chandrasekhar (CEO). Rao holds a doctorate from IISc and was previously the director (technology), Philips Healthcare at Phillips Innovation Center, Bangalore. Chandrasekhar is an alumnus of IIM-C and BITS, Pilani, and was previously the director of Strategy at NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors).

Forus was earlier eyeing $3 million in first round of funding by November 2011. So while the funding deal got delayed, it managed to secure a larger round than what it was initially aiming at.

"We are always interested in platform technologies that can deliver healthcare cost effectively. The pre-screening technology developed by Forus holds tremendous potential and will help address issues relating to avoidable blindness globally," said Ranjith Menon, vice president of IDG Ventures India. Unitus Capital was the sole advisor to Forus for the transaction.

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