Sisu Global Health announced $1.2 million in funding as the Remington–based medical device startup launches sales of its first product in Africa.
The convertible note round included existing investors Baltimore-based Camden Partners, Belle Michigan and AOL cofounder Steve Case’s Revolution, which invested through its Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. New investors included the Women’s Angel Investor Network of Dubai, Kent and Russell Croft, and Chuck Clarvit, who is a Johns Hopkins University trustee. The Dreamit Health Baltimore alum, which was founded Carolyn Yarina, Gillian Henker and Katie Kirsch, raised $3.1 million to date.
“It’s great to have the support such top-level investing talent who have provided so much beyond capital, giving us great advice and insights, especially as we launch Hemafuse in Africa,” said CEO Carolyn Yarina.
Hemafuse is the first product to be launched from the company’s portfolio. With the device, Sisu is looking to address a 50 percent shortage of blood needed to perform surgery in Africa. Operating without electricity, the Hemafuse pumps blood from an internal hemhorrage into a blood bag, allowing it to be reused. This provides an alternative to donor blood. After developing the device in Baltimore with Harbor Designs and Manufacturing and others, Hemafuse gained regulatory approvals in Ghana and Kenya, as well as a certification known as ISO 13485, a quality management standard which helps demonstrate compliance.
The company is focusing efforts in Kenya, where Yarina said the company is signing up early adopters. After bringing on three team members based in Kenya, Sisu also has a team of six of its 12-member team working in the country at a given time to augment sales and marketing, Yarina said. Seeking to open up sales in other markets, it also has a global distribution partnership with VIA Global Health.
“We are very excited with the tremendous progress Sisu has made since we first invested in
June 2016. With the launch in Africa, Carolyn and her team are demonstrating great ability to execute,” Camden Partners Nexus General Partner George Petrocheilos said in a statement.