CHICAGO – Aether Biomedical, a biotech company creating cutting-edge bionic prosthetics, today announced the successful conclusion of a $5.8 Million Series A funding round, led by J2 Ventures and Story Ventures. The round also included participation from existing partner, Chiratae Ventures. The new capital will enable Aether’s experienced team to expand manufacturing options for their premier product, The Zeus hand, and advance research and development, with the mission of creating healthcare technology and robotics that are based on human-centered design. Notably, Aether has committed 75% of its current workforce to research and development.
“We are thrilled to be able to support Aether Biomedical in this funding round to help the end user get the experience they need in a large and important market that has been underserved.”
“I founded Aether Biomedical with a resolute commitment to make bionics accessible for all people,” said Dhruv Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of Aether Biomedical. “The Zeus hand has unmatched intelligence and answers an unmet need in upper limb prosthetics. We know that upper limb amputees want stronger grips and less downtime if their prosthesis needs maintenance. As such, we’ve developed new cloud-based technology, akin to modern smart home devices, to increase communication between provider and patient, shortened the time of maintenance by sending parts directly to providers, and improved grip strength by 30-40% over other market options. This funding will support these continued initiatives – all in the service of helping those with upper limb prosthetics function with more ease.”
Aether Biomedical has been fitting the Zeus hand through orthotic and prosthetic care providers in the U.S. Additionally in Europe, Aether has multiple clinics they have partnered with such as Inovamed in Poland with plans for continued expansion.
“The Zeus hand is modernizing technology for upper limb patients and has been purpose built to keep human beings at their top potential,” said Alex Harstrick, Managing Director of J2 Ventures. “We are thrilled to be able to support Aether Biomedical in this funding round to help the end user get the experience they need in a large and important market that has been underserved.”
Brian Yormak, Managing Director of Story Ventures echoed Harstrick’s sentiment. “We have been supportive of Aether from their early days, and we are as bullish as ever on the impact of connected hardware within healthcare. Patient-provider communication, device functionality, patient insights, and eventual outcomes will be meaningfully improved through these emergent technologies. We are honored to support Aether as they lead innovation in this space.”
Consistent daily use with upper-limb prostheses over time can be a challenge for patients given obstacles with maintenance and repairs. Sarra Mullen, Certified Prosthetist and Head of U.S. Operations for Aether Biomedical prioritizes accessibility and ease for Aether’s users. “We are the only hand on the market that doesn’t make you send it back to the manufacturer if it needs maintenance. We send the replacement parts to the clinician who services the hand in their clinic. This shortens the duration of getting it fixed from 6-8 weeks to next day air.” Of note, the Zeus hand is also approved for coverage by Medicare and most commercial payers.
Since their inception in 2017, Aether has created and distributed hundreds of Zeus hands. Thus far in 2023, the Company has distributed 250+ Zeus hands, with plans for distributing products to war-ridden territories including Ukraine.
For more information about Aether and the Zeus hand, visit www.aetherbiomedical.com/.
About Aether Biomedical
Aether is building the future of human-inspired machines, starting with the most intuitive and intelligent prosthetic hand ever built. The Company’s flagship product, the Zeus hand, is the strongest and “smartest” bionic hand for upper limb amputees. Zeus uses neural signals, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and deep learning to give users more autonomy and ease in their daily lives.” Aether was founded in 2017 by Dhruv Agrawal and Faith Jawakhan on the premise of creating smart prosthetic technology that is accessible for all. In 2021, Aether Biomedical extended its global reach by establishing its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, IL. This expansion complements their international presence in Poland and India. Learn more at www.aetherbiomedical.com/.
About J2 Ventures
J2 Ventures is an early-stage venture-capital firm that specializes in companies looking to bring transformative technologies to the private sector while also serving the unmet needs of the U.S. government. The firm focuses on areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, healthcare and material science. Formed in 2020 by Alexander Harstrick and Jonathan Bronson, J2 Ventures has had a meteoric rise in the VC landscape, known for building strong relationships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and creating value by leveraging the firm’s significant resources and network. The firm’s partners have invested over $4 billion in venture (both private equity and defense) and approach each investment with a “whole-firm” mindset that ensures the firm brings the best to the entrepreneur. J2 Ventures is based in Boston, Massachusetts with additional presences in Washington, DC, San Francisco, California and London, England. Learn more at www.j2vp.com/.
About Story Ventures
Story Ventures is an NYC-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage companies at the intersection of the modern data stack (creation, organization, and application of data). The investment team has spent nearly a decade working with deeply technical founders to invest in data infrastructure, robotics, and artificial intelligence applications. The firm partners with only a handful of companies per year. Through these partnerships the firm, and its partner focus on leveraging frontier technologies to build world class, highly impactful businesses.