Israel’s Scopio raises $7 million for digital microscopes

Tel Aviv-based startup develops new way to take and share high-resolution lab slides

May 24, 2017, 5:25 pm
Young israelis working on breast cancer research in a Ben-Porath lab in Hadassah university. The lab is trying to understand why certain cancerous cells are able to spread through the body and develop targeted therapies for cancer patients. Jan 12 2011. 
Israel’s Scopio Labs, a maker of digital microscopes, has raised $7 million in a seed investment round that includes $2.5 million from OurCrowd, the Jerusalem based crowdfunding VC.

Founded in 2015 by Itai Hayut and Erez Na’aman, Scopio developed a digital microscope and software tools that enable researchers to take high resolution scans of their lab slides and share them with other researchers remotely.

The product is a desktop scanner coupled with a suite of software tools that help analyze the data. “Existing products use a different technology and don’t have as much resolution,” Hayut said in an interview at the sidelines of a biomed conference in Tel Aviv.

Scopio’s products enable clinical and research improvements in areas such as cancer, hematology and cytology, while powering further innovation in academic research and drug discovery, OurCrowd said in a statement, announcing the investment on Wednesday.

The company will use the funds to expand the team based in Tel Aviv, and is hiring computer vision experts, physicists and software developers, the statement said.

The latest investment in Scopio brings OurCrowd’s investment in healthcare companies $80 million in 23 companies, VC fund said in statements. In November 2016, OurCrowd launched Israel’s first exclusive digital health fund, OurCrowd Qure, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. Digital health is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Israel in terms of funding and M&A activity, OurCrowd said.

There are some 1,350 life sciences companies active in Israel, and 612 of them were created between 2007 and 2016, according to a new report on Israel’s Life Sciences sector released ahead of the conference by IATI – Israel Advanced Technology Industries, an umbrella organization of an umbrella organization of high-tech firms, VCs, startups and multinationals operating in Israel.

Some $823 million worth of investments flowed into the sector in 2016, or 20% of all investments in Israeli high-tech, the report said.