Landshut / Munich — Bayern Kapital, the venture capital company of the Free State of Bavaria, is investing in Virtonomy as part of a seed financing round. The digital health startup is developing an innovative, database-driven software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for medical device manufacturers. Manufacturers can use Virtonomy to bring their products to market faster and more cost-effectively by simulating necessary tests or studies on the computer during development. The lead investor in the seven-figure round is Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures. In addition to Bayern Kapital, the Initiative for Industrial Innovators and Plug and Play have also invested in the young company from Munich’s WERK1.
Conventional approval processes for medical devices are time-consuming and costly. They are also often linked to ethically questionable experiments on animals, and later on, risky human trials are often required. The currently more than 10 employees of Virtonomy GmbH have therefore set themselves the goal of making these approval processes faster, more cost-effective and safer. The company, founded in 2019 and based in Munich’s WERK1, develops database-based simulation solutions for this purpose. The idea comes from the automotive industry: instead of taking measurements while driving, a large part of the testing is done virtually. This allows more tests in less time and with more iterations. Virtonomy brings this principle to medical technology: The company builds virtual, customizable anatomies of human bodies. Manufacturers of medical devices (for example, implants) can use Virtonomy to test their technologies on this virtual patient at all stages of development — from the concept phase to preclinical evaluation to long-term monitoring in widespread patient use. In this way, Virtonomy can help to reduce the development time and costs of medical technology products. At the same time, thanks to the large number of tests performed virtually, a smaller number of animal and human tests are necessary in further development.
Virtonomy plans to invest the funds from the seed round in the further technological development of the product, the recruitment of additional employees and the expansion of the constantly expanding database.
“From the beginning, we wanted to develop a solution that not only had economic benefits, but also social benefits,” explains Dr. Simon Sonntag, CEO of Virtonomy. “The development of new medical technology products continues to be particularly time-consuming and cost-intensive. That’s why young companies like us that want to make a difference in this industry are also dependent on strong capital support during the start-up and growth phase. We are therefore delighted to have attracted a consortium of industry-experienced investors to our vision in Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures, Bayern Kapital, Initiative for Industrial Innovators and Plug and Play.”
Dr. Georg Ried, Managing Director of Bayern Kapital, says: “In the digitization of healthcare, there is still enormous potential for developing innovative solutions and building market leaders. Digital health start-ups are interesting for venture capital investors because their products usually offer calculable development times and good scalability. In addition, the approval process is somewhat easier than for medtech hardware. Virtonomy scores points in several ways with its innovative idea: a promising, scalable product with the potential to make the development of medical devices more efficient, faster and safer. We see enormous growth potential here.”
Virtonomy GmbH was founded in December 2019 by Dr. Simon Sonntag (CEO) and Wen-Yang Chu (CTO) in Munich, Germany. Virtonomy is developing a cloud-based SaaS solution for digitizing the design and conduct of clinical trials of medical devices using virtual patients based on a high volume of imaging, physiological and pathological data. The overall goal here is to end animal and human testing in clinical trials through the use of data-based virtual patients. Virtonomy currently employs about 10 people, combining expertise in medical engineering, medical image processing, artificial intelligence, numerical simulation and visualization using extended reality. www.virtonomy.io
About Bayern Kapital
Bayern Kapital GmbH, based in Landshut, was founded in 1995 as a wholly owned subsidiary of LfA Förderbank Bayern on the initiative of the Bavarian state government. As the venture capital company of the Free State of Bavaria, Bayern Kapital provides equity capital to the founders of innovative high-tech companies and young, innovative technology companies in Bavaria. Bayern Kapital currently manages twelve investment funds with an investment volume of around 500 million euros. To date, Bayern Kapital has invested around 350 million euros of venture capital in around 290 innovative technology-oriented companies from a wide range of sectors, including life sciences, software & IT, materials & new materials, nanotechnology and environmental technology. As a result, more than 8,000 jobs have been permanently created in Bavaria in sustainable companies. www.bayernkapital.de