breast cancer, niramai breast cancer, cb insights niramai, niramai geetha manjunath, sandeep soni, breast cancer mammography, Thermalytix niramai, beenext, dream incubator

This startup uses artificial intelligence to detect breast cancer early; raises $6 million

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Published: February 25, 2019 1:49:48 PM

Niramai will deploy funds towards scaling up in India, hiring talent and getting additional regulatory approvals for international expansion.

Launched in 2016 Niramai aims to replace the existing method of mammography, which has high equipment cost.

Bengaluru-based health-tech startup Niramai that uses artificial intelligence to detect breast cancer at the early stage has raised $6 million in funding. The round was led by Japan-based venture capital (VC) firm Dream Incubator with participation from Singapore-based VC firm BEENEXT and other investors including deep-tech focused fund pi Ventures, impact fund Ankur Capital, startup accelerator and seed fund Axilor Ventures, and Flipkart’s co-founder Binny Bansal.

“Breast cancer is one of the biggest problems in women healthcare which has the potential to make a huge business and social impact,” Niramai’s Founder and CEO Dr Geetha Manjunath told Financial Express Online.

Niramai will deploy funds towards scaling up in India, hiring talent and getting additional regulatory approvals for international expansion.

“The AI-based technology is key to early detection of disease, especially where there is a shortage of skilled medical professionals and dense breast ratio is high. Dream Incubator would support Niramai’s international expansion including Japan,” Eto Munehiko, Managing Director, Dream Incubator Advisory and Investment India said in a statement. Munehiko will join the Niramai board.

Bringing Affordability

Launched in 2016 Niramai aims to replace the existing method of mammography, which has high equipment cost and required experienced radiographers. Its solution called Thermalytix is radiation free, non-touch, non-painful imaging method.

“We are the only company in the world currently that uses AI-based thermal image processing and machine learning algorithms for reliable and accurate breast cancer screening,” Manjunath said.

The startup has so far tied up with 21 hospitals in 9 cities to deploy its solution.

“Innovative solutions take time to get adopted,” Manjunath said on the rate of deployment. The start-up is also looking at rural penetration for its solution apart from metro and tier I and II cities.

Niramai was the only Indian start-up in the CB Insights’ (global business data intelligence platform) 3rd annual list of 100 ‘most promising’ AI startups globally.

“The list is of most promising private companies providing hardware and data infrastructure for AI applications, optimizing machine learning workflows, and applying AI across a variety of major industries,” CB Insights said.

Niramai had raised $1 million in April 2017.

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