IAN Fund backs healthcare startup Astrek Innovations
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Astrek Innovations Pvt Ltd, a healthcare startup focused on rehabilitation and assistive robotics, has raised Rs 75 lakh (around $99,000) in a funding round led by IAN Fund, the eponymous fund of Indian Angel Network (IAN).   

The funds will be used to accelerate the development of their products, establish clinical trials, and enable early market tests. The company is also hiring talent and aims to expand to multiple verticals, it will also be working on developing a research and development division, the company said in a statement.   

Founded by Robin Kanattu Thomas and Jithin Vidya Ajith, Astrek said it is working on an exoskeleton-based wearable suit, Unik Exo, since its inception in September 2018. The company aims to aid in rehabilitation and provide assistance to people suffering from or living with lower limb disabilities.   

Kerala-based Astrek Innovations was incubated by Gurgaon-based incubator Huddle and provided acceleration support by HealthStart India.

“We are looking at making smart healthcare accessible to the common man by providing technology-based rehabilitation solutions for mobility challenges. At Astrek Innovations, we aim to help people become independent with the exoskeleton-based wearable suit.” Robin Kanattu Thomas, Co-Founder, Astrek Innovations said.  

“With the funds raised from IAN, we want to expand and achieve a smooth go-to-market phase for our product,” he added.   

Before the recent funding, Astrek Innovations has received multiple grants for various projects over the years, including the Kerala Startup Mission Ideation and Productisation Grants and the Nidhi Prayas Grant from CIE, IIIT Hyderabad.  

The Kannur-based company is incubated by CIE, IIIT Hyderabad and supported by Kerala StartUp Mission (KSUM), the Kerala State’s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development.  

Indian Angel Network (IAN) is an angel network with close to 500 members, The network is sector agnostic and has funded start-ups across 17 sectors in India and 7 other countries growing.   

IAN has also launched a Rs 375 crore IAN fund to back seed/early-stage start-ups, the fund invests in companies in sectors including healthcare and medical devices, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, software as a service (SaaS), marketplaces, fintech, big data, artificial intelligence, agritech, and hardware. With this, IAN has created the platform for seed and early-stage investing, enabling start-ups to raise from Rs. 25 lakhs to Rs. 50 crores, it said in a statement.   

India's healthtech segment is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 39% to touch $5 billion by 2023, according to a report by transaction advisory firm RBSA Advisors. The segment has the potential to grow to $50 billion over the next 10-12 years, the report said.   

India has more than 5,000 healthtech startups and the industry is currently pegged at $1.9 billion. The startups have secured funding of around $2.5 billion which reflects that technology is poised to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem of India, the RBSA Advisors report said.   

This week, Suki.AI Inc raised $55 million (around Rs 412 crore) in a Series C funding round led by March Capital.   

Pune-based healthcare start-up IThrive has raised $350,000 in a pre-Series A round from Rajesh Ranavat, executive director at Fung Strategic Investments, and Neelesh Bhatnagar, managing director at NB Ventures.

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