Lunit, a leading medical AI provider, today announced it has raised $61 million in its Pre-IPO fundraising round ahead of the company’s planned public offering on the South Korean stock market (KOSDAQ) early next year. A number of new investors have joined the round including leading US healthcare investors HealthQuest Capital, Casdin Capital, and American Cancer Society BrightEdge, as well as Asia-based global healthcare investors Tybourne Capital Management, and NSG Ventures.
HealthQuest Capital invested $20 million of the total funding amount. HealthQuest Capital is a leading healthcare growth equity firm with funding from a number of major US healthcare systems and has extensive experience partnering with global pharmaceutical companies including Roche-Genentech, Merck, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer. It also has a broad network of healthcare payers such as Kaiser Permanente, Humana, and United Healthcare. Lunit is the HealthQuest Capital’s first investment in Asia.
“At HealthQuest, we’re highly interested in AI advancement and its application to complex diagnostic procedures to improve accuracy and reduce complexity.”, said Garheng Kong, Managing Partner at HealthQuest Capital. “Lunit stands out as best-in-class for its state-of-the-art solutions (which uses a paired modality approach) across multiple products, and has significant initial commercial traction around the world. We’re excited to partner with Lunit through this exciting stage of growth.”
Casdin Capital, a New York based life science focused investment firm, has invested in well over 100 biotechnology companies including Loxo Oncology, Spark Therapeutics, Foundation Medicine, and Flatiron Health, which were recent acquisition targets for major pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly and Roche.
Tybourne Capital Management is a global growth investor in public and private equity markets, focusing on investments in the Healthcare, Consumer, Financials and TMT sectors. The firm was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Hong Kong with an office in San Francisco. Tybourne manages long duration capital on behalf of prominent non-profits, university endowments, sovereigns, corporate pensions and family offices. Notable investments in healthcare include Zentalis Pharmaceuticals/Zentera Therapeutics, WuXi Biologics, Tigermed, and SK Biopharmaceuticals.
BrightEdge is a recently established venture capital arm of American Cancer Society, and NSG Ventures is a global healthcare venture capital which Tim Lu, a serial entrepreneur and world-renowned expert in systems biology at MIT, co-founded as founding partner.
The list further adds Naver, one of the leading IT companies known to be the Google of Korea, and its affiliate Naver Cloud, as well as Asia’s leading venture capitals including Softbank Ventures Asia, Legend Capital, IMM Investment, Kakao Ventures, and Mirae Asset Venture Investment.
“It is a great pleasure to be successfully closing this round, consisting of major biotech investors. It is a result of hard work throughout the years to establish ourselves as one of the leading medical AI companies in the world,” said Brandon Suh, CEO of Lunit.
Prior to this latest round, Lunit closed a strategic investment of $26 million from Guardant Health last July. Combined with the pre-IPO round, the company has secured more than $135 million in total to date. “Our purpose of the last few investment rounds has been to find partners who would bring strategic value for our future endeavours. Through these partnerships we look forward to reinforcing our journey to conquer cancer through AI,” added Suh.
Lunit, based in Seoul, Korea, was founded in 2013. With a mission to conquer cancer through AI, Lunit develops AI-powered diagnostic tools for cancer screening, as well as biomarkers that can accurately predict and guide which patients respond to specific cancer therapy. Its radiology solutions for chest x-ray and mammography, Lunit INSIGHT, in active partnership with various medical device giants including GE Healthcare, Philips, and FujiFilm, is commercial in 30+ countries and will also be offered in the US with its recent FDA approval.