Able attracted U.S. capital and now takes another step to enter the Spanish and German markets. The U.S. fund Blue Goose has entered the capital of the Catalan startup specialized in the development of robotic exoskeletons for people with disabilities. In addition, several business angels have also participated in this bridge round, which is expected to raise $767,000 (€750,000). Most of these come from Esade BAN, a network of private investors promoted by the alumni of this business center.
The company expects to close the round after the summer, as Alfons Carnicero, co-founder and CEO of Able said. The objective of this initiative is to finance the achievement of the CE marking of the European Union.
Following the pandemic, the startup based at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) has modified its strategy and plans to open a new round of three million euros once the current one closes. Looking ahead to 2023, the company plans to start marketing its products in Germany and Spain.
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Able has designed a robotic exoskeleton for people with disabilities
In Germany, Able’s CEO highlights the fact that the company has carried out part of the clinical studies at the Heidelberg Hospital. In Spain, the startup has also collaborated with the Guttman Institute in Badalona and the Asepeyo Barcelona Hospital in Sant Cugat.
The exoskeleton developed by Able is intended for patients with spinal cord injuries. These people, who have no strength or sensitivity in their legs, put on the device, which performs the force moment after detecting the movements that the user wants to make. The device promotes their mobility and aims to bring a holistic approach to the table since spinal cord injuries lead to other associated health problems such as cardiovascular or psychological problems.
Worldwide, there are currently five million people with spinal cord injuries. Moreover, this figure is increasing with half a million more people each year, according to data provided by Able.
The company closed a €700,000 funding round in 2019
Able was founded in October 2018 on the initiative of Carnicero, Alex Garcia and Josep Maria Font following research started in 2013 at the UPC with the aim of developing a lightweight, easy-to-use device that would not prove to be a great economic burden. In November 2019, the company already closed a $716,000 (€700,000) funding round, in which BStartup Health, Banco Sabadell’s program dedicated to healthcare startups, participated.
The company, which currently employs twelve full-time and two more part-time employees, invested the funds raised in the transformation and evolution of the then prototype of the exoskeleton.
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