Surgical Navigation Company Proprio Raises $23 Million

By Annie Baker ● June 22, 2020
  • Surgical navigation company Proprio announced it has raised $23 million in Series A funding led by DCVC

Surgical navigation company Proprio announced it has raised $23 million in Series A funding led by DCVC (Data Collective) with additional investment from Cota Capital. And existing investors BOLD Capital Partners and Alan Frazier, founder of East Seattle Partners and Frazier Healthcare Partners also participated in the Series A.

Proprio is known as a computational imaging company that provides enhanced visualization systems for precise surgical execution. And the Proprio system integrates advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence, and computer vision to simplify surgical workflow, improve procedural accuracy, and reduce or eliminate exposure to radiation. 

This helps increase surgical productivity while improving the precision of surgery: two critically important factors for medical institutions facing enormous backlogs of elective surgeries due to COVID-19, an upcoming shortage of 23,400 surgical specialists in the U.S., and physician burnout which costs the U.S. $4.6 billion annually. As it provides near-term benefits to surgeons and medical institutions, the Proprio platform also creates valuable new data sets to improve clinical capability over the long term.

With this round of funding, the Proprio Board of Directors adds Armen Vidian (a DCVC partner with extensive operational experience in healthcare and medical devices, including early market development for first-in-class technologies). Also joining as Board Observer is Alan Cohen, a DCVC partner with expertise in product development and go-to-market strategy for multiple billion-dollar companies. Vidian and Cohen join existing external Board Members Dr. Teymour Boutros-Ghali (Managing Partner of BOLD Capital Partners), Ken Denman (Partner at Sway Ventures and past-CEO of Emotient), and Dr. Alan Levy (former CEO and Chairman of the Board at Northstar Neuroscience and Chronos Therapeutics).

Proprio had recently added Tony Titus, Amish Patel, and Shannon Eubanks — executives with deep expertise in commercialization, product development, regulatory affairs, and operations — to the leadership team. Combined, the Proprio leadership team brings over 100 years of medical device development and commercialization experience to the company.

With this round of funding, Proprio will be expanding its development teams, accelerate clinical and regulatory timelines, build commercialization capabilities, and install the first Proprio systems in leading institutions.

Proprio technical advisors include Microsoft Healthcare GM Desney Tan, computer vision pioneer Dr. Takeo Kanada, and Dr. Joshua Smith (an IEEE Fellow and University of Washington professor whose research team developed the early computational imaging technology at the heart of Proprio). And the company’s co-founders include Jones, Denman, Dr. Smith, Head of Engineering James Youngquist, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Samuel Browd (a leading pediatric neurosurgeon at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of Washington).

Key Quotes:

“Proprio’s mission is to improve the precision and efficiency of surgery. This investment supports our world-class team to deliver a surgical navigation system that leverages the latest technological advancements in imaging and machine learning, making it easier to perform high-quality surgeries.”

– Gabriel Jones, CEO and Co-founder of Proprio

“As a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon, I am interested in the potential to use Proprio’s system to navigate and digitize the entire surgical experience. It will let surgeons detect nuances that we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise — creating a new level of first-hand observation that would help us continuously learn and perfect our craft.” 

– Dr. Christopher Kellner, neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai in New York City

“Proprio is creating the most transformative technology in surgery since the X-ray. DCVC has invested in Gabriel and his tremendous team, which includes proven leaders in artificial intelligence, computer vision, medical devices, and clinical medicine because we believe they are uniquely qualified to execute on this ambitious goal.”

– Armen Vidian, Partner at DCVC