After 30 years in the medical devices space, Jay Pierce has seen it all. But he can’t contain his excitement about OrthoSensor, a small Sunrise company he leads.
The four-year-old company focuses on the development and commercialization of intelligent devices to treat muscular-skeletal disease.
“There is so much happening in the convergence of medical devices, technology and the Internet. We sit in the middle of this and are applying it to muscular-skeletal health — hip and knee replacement, osteoporosis, trauma, all that stuff,” said Pierce, the CEO. “We’re real excited about this. It is basically iPhone converging with orthopedics.”
Venture capitalists are excited, too. OrthoSensor raised $15 million in funding led by Zeigler Meditech Corporation during the second quarter. It was one of four South Florida companies funded, according to the MoneyTree Report, published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
The Series B funding will be used for the commercial launch of the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer, sales and marketing, and reasearch and development in areas including intelligent implants, Pierce said. In total, the company has raised about $33 million in Series B, he said.
Florida ranked ninth in the country for venture capital investment in the second quarter; there was a total of $94.8 million invested in 11 ventures. Still, that is just 1.4 percent of the total venture capital investment made nationally.
Nevertheless, South Florida startups had a very strong showing, netting nearly half of the state’s total. In addition to OrthoSensor, other companies receiving funding were:
• Open English. This Miami-based company received $28 million in investment, led by Insight Venture Partners, Kaszek Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and an undisclosed investor.
As reported in the Herald, Open English recently announced it secured $43 million in venture funding, which includes the $28 million reported in the MoneyTree second-quarter survey. Altogether, Open English has raised more than $55 million, CEO and co-founder Andres Moreno said.
Open English is an online English language school that has been expanding quickly in Latin America. Moreno said the investment will fund further expansion, particularly in Brazil, where it launched in November.
• Depositphotos. This Fort Lauderdale company raised $2 million in funding from TMT Investments PLC. Depositphotos, led by CEO and founder Dmitry Sergeev, is a platform to buy and sell royalty-free files, such as photographs, videos, etc.
• VirtualWorks. This Boca Raton startup raised $560,000 in funding led by New World Angels. VirtualWorks, led by CEO Edward Iacobucci, who co-founded Citrix Systems, is pioneering a new software category called content virtualization. It has reportedly previously raised more than $8 million in funding led by New World Angels.
Nationwide, venture-capital investments totaled $7 billion during the second quarter, down 6.7 percent from the same quarter last year but up 17 percent from this year’s first quarter, according to the MoneyTree survey. Deals involving early-stage companies totaled 410, worth $2.1 billion. It was the largest number of early-stage deals since early 2001, according to the report. The quarterly MoneyTree survey is based on data compiled by Thomson Reuters.