Butterfly Network Produced a Bold New Medical Device
Butterfly Network produces handheld ultrasound devices. In a company statement regarding the new round of funding, Butterfly states the funding will go toward the manufacturing and shipping of new devices.
Addressing a Global Need
Founded in 2011, Butterfly Network’s iQ device is a pocket-sized ultrasound device compatible with an iphone. The company was founded when its founders learned that over 4.7 billion people around the world lack access to medical imaging. The goal of the company is to bring the life-saving features of an ultrasound to the wider market by dramatically reducing device costs. Typical ultrasound machines range from about $25,000 to $250,000, while Butterfly Network’s iQ device starts at just $2,000. This reduction in price means the benefits of ultrasound technology may be able to used in many more locations around the world.
In a statement reflecting this sentiment, Butterfly Network’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Martin remarked, “We wanted to make it cheaper, easier to capture the image, easier to interpret the image so it can become available, not only to every healthcare provider in this country, but to address the issue that two-thirds of the world right now has no access to medical imaging.”
An Idea Born From Personal Experience
The company was founded by Jonathan Rothberg, a biotechnology entrepreneur who previously lead two companies which developed machines to sequence human DNA. The idea for the company came from Mr. Rothberg’s own experience. When Mr. Rothberg’s daughter was diagnosed with a disease known as tuberosclerosis, he witnessed firsthand just how bulky and difficult ultrasound technology was to use and decided there must be a better way. He recruited a brilliant young student named Nevada Sanchez to develop the technology, and soon the two became co-founders.
Shortly after launching the company was able to raise a $100 million round of venture funding, $20 million of which Mr. Rothberg put up himself. Now with the latest round of $250 million, the company has raised over $350 million in funding and is valued at $1.25 billion.