Early-stage fund pi Ventures, others back health-tech startup Niramai
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Breast cancer screening startup Niramai Health Analytix has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a clutch of investors, including early-stage venture funds pi Ventures and Axilor Ventures, impact investor Ankur Capital, Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator 500 Startups and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, a company statement said.

Data released by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) show that pi Ventures has invested Rs 3.25 crore in the startup. Niramai will use the funds to strengthen its intellectual property portfolio, expand operations and make its cancer screening tool available for commercial use, Geetha Manjunath, co-founder and chief executive of the firm said in the statement.

Founded by former employees of Xerox Research Center and Hewlett-Packard Labs, Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur in July 2016, Nirmai, which stands for non-invasive risk assessment with machine learning, uses big data analytics and artificial intelligence over thermal images for the early detection of breast cancer. The firm’s method of screening is based on the principles of thermography that can detect tumours five years before a mammography or a clinical exam can do so.

Co-founded by the founder of online funding platform LetsVenture Manish Singhal and Vimagino co-founder Umakant Soni, pi Ventures had announced the first close of its maiden fund at $13 million, with technology entrepreneurs such as former Infosys CFO and Aarin Capital chairman TV Mohandas Pai, Flipkart’s Binny Bansal, MakeMyTrip’s Deep Kalra and Info Edge’s Sanjeev Bikchandani, and angel investor Bhupen Shah, backing it, among others last month.

pi Ventures’ investment focus is on artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things-enabled companies based on healthcare, smart cities, fin-tech, retail, cyber security, logistics and enterprise automation across India. Its maiden fund plans to invest in 18-20 ventures over three to four years.

Its most recent investments include medical technology startup SigTuple Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which raised $5.8 million (around Rs 38.8 crore) in a Series A round led by Accel Partners with participation from pi Ventures and others. The startup builds cloud-based solutions for medical diagnosis using AI and has tied up with medical institutions to get data for the analysis.

In February, pi Ventures along with early-stage seed investor Blume Ventures invested Rs 8 crore ($1.18 million) in Gurgaon-based Zenatix Solutions Pvt Ltd, an Internet of Things (IoT)-based energy management startup.

In December 2016, the fund, along with angel investors, backed Bengaluru-based medical wearable device startup ten3T.

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