Healthtech startup SigTuple is looking forward to collaborate with regional medical device distributors as it enters newer markets such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and America.
In India, it has partnered with HORIBA Medical and Genworks. It has a partnership with Tawada Healthcare in Indonesia and is in active discussions with the major local distributors in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The expansion comes after its recent funding raise of ₹34.5 crore ($4.3 million), which was an extension of its Series C round. It has to date raised a total of $44 million.
The startup, which launched its first product—a hardware and software solution—in late 2021, has deployed more than 100 of these products across the country, Tathagato Rai Dastidar, founder and CEO, told businessline.
“Our current product, the AI100, is a hardware and software solution that does biopsies on two samples: blood and urine. The hardware is an automated slide scanner, capable of converting any physical specimen into digital images. While the AI platform analyses these images and provides clinical insights into the sample, which reduces slide review time for the pathologist and allows them to work remotely.”
It has received CE certification for AI100, which allows right of entry into multiple markets: the European Union, most of Asia, and Africa. It has also applied to the US FDA, which will allow it to enter North America.
Speaking about the products being assembled in foreign markets, Dastidar said that is a possibility. “Business is a world of possibilities; if somebody wants to take it up like a local assembly, which might help with government regulations, why not?”
New product in development
The startup is also in the development stage of its second product—a more generic solution for catering to microbiology, cytology, and histopathology—in the next 12 months. “Currently, we are working on the prototype, and are planning to commercialise the CE-IVDR by March 2024.”
The med-tech industryin India was around $10 billion a couple of years ago, and it is probably going to grow to more than $40 billion by 2025. “We want to leverage the opportunity to expand internationally while keeping the focus on expanding with the country,” he noted.
He added, “India is a big and fast-growing market, but is extremely price-sensitive. So, the margins that any company can make here are significantly lower compared to other markets, such as those in South Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.”
The company manufactures the devices through a contract manufacturing company based in Rajasthan. “It has a monthly capacity of about 300 devices.”
SigTuple has a headcount of 90 people, of which the R&D team is composed of 70 people. “Being a deep-tech company, our goal will be around 100 to 150, even in the long term.”
Currently, it has 21 granted patents, of which 6 are US patents, 15 are Indian patents, and 4 more are under review. These patents cover a wide range of topics, including microfluidics, automated microscopy and medical image analysis, the CEO explained.