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Kerala Startup Raises Fund Defying COVID-19 Impact

In Business
May 03, 2020

Notwithstanding the insidious effects of COVID-19 on economy, health-tech startup Sascan Meditech Pvt. Ltd, mentored by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), has received an undisclosed amount of funding from Mumbai-based venture capital firm Unicorn India Ventures.

The capital, called Unicorn India Ventures Equity Fund II, netted through KSUM’s Fund of Fund programme, makes Sascan the first neo-diagnostic startup to raise fund for scaling up integrated hardware and software solutions for medical diagnostics.

Founded by Dr Subhash Narayanan in 2015, Sascan is currently focusing on bringing OralScan to the market, a fully automated solution for non-intrusive oral cancer screening. The company also has a product to detect cervical cancer.

The technology involves a handheld device with a camera that captures images and sends them to a cloud application through a connected tablet app. Based on these images, the application detects morphological and biochemical changes in tissues to screen for early stages of cancer with higher diagnostic accuracies than conventional techniques. It also identifies the most malignant site in a lesion for tissue biopsies.

Commenting on the investment, Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Venture, said, “Our commitment to nurturing Indian startups is unwavering and we will keep scouting for innovative ventures as done in fund-I. Having announced our first investment from fund-II simultaneously is a testimony to that. Sascan is building a range of devices and solutions to detect early signs of cancers. Their methodology of making cancer detection less painful and more accurate in pre-diagnosis impressed us to invest in it.”

Sascan was incubated at the TIMed, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), here. The startup has also got grants from KIIT-TBI and TIMed-SCTIMST. KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.