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Seed Scout #15: Avatar Medical Visualizes Healthcare's 3D Future

Also inside: Masawa Managing Partner Sabine Flechet discusses the new mental health early-stage fund; and Seed Deals.


Welcome to Seed Scout which takes you inside France’s early-stage startup scene. As a reminder, this newsletter is free. Upgrade to a paid membership to get full access to all the articles and archives!

In this edition:

Chris O'Brien & Helen O'Reilly-Durand

The French Tech Journal

Seed Of The Week: Avatar Medical

Avatar Medical co-founders from left: Dr. Elodie Brient-Litzler (COO), Xavier Wartelle (CEO), Dr. Jean-Baptiste Masson (CSO), Dr. Mohamed El Beheiry (CTO), and Marie Buhot-Launay (CRO).

Recent advancements in medical imaging technology have been transforming healthcare. Sector developments are resulting in imaging that is clearer, more precise, and easier to interpret. This leads to more accurate disease diagnoses, targeted medical treatments, and improved patient care.

Franco-American startup Avatar Medical is among the wave of new medical imaging startups impacting the healthcare sector. The company raised a €5 million Seed Round earlier this year for its Extended Reality imaging tech, which it believes will be a game changer for patients, hospitals, surgeons, and medical students.

“Our tech has four main applications: Patient engagement, surgical planning, training, and research,” said Avatar Medical CEO and Co-Founder Xavier Wartelle. “We originally developed Avatar Medical as a tool to help surgeons better understand the black and white images they are looking at, but what we actually discovered is that a major benefit is actually for the patient."

Investor Spotlight:
Masawa's Sabine Flechet

Sabine Flechet has been flying the French tech flag from her home base in Munich, Germany, for more than a decade. In addition to being Vice-President of the official French Tech Munich community, she has been a prominent Business Angel and venture capital partner.

Now she’s leveraging that experience to launch a new venture capital firm called Masawa. Its credo is a concept called “Nurture Capital.” Masawa seeks to back early-stage mental wellness startups, but it also intends to create an empathetic approach to helping portfolio companies that prioritizes the mental well-being of founders.

Masawa was, in part, inspired by her experience helping founders of her portfolio companies navigate the pandemic and watching the personal toll it took on many of them as they fought to keep their startups running.

“At that point, I felt not equipped with the right skills to help my portfolio because they needed soft skills like resilience, adaptability, and mental health support,” Flechet said. “They were burning out while trying to make sure that employees are not leaving when things become challenging. That’s when I started getting interested in mental health and the mental health of founders.”

Hot Seed Deals 🔥

Hephaistos-Pharma team.
Hephaistos-Pharma team.
HEPHAISTOS-Pharma sécurise 10,3 M€ pour aller jusqu'en clinique | MyPharma  Editions

What: Hephaistos-Pharma, a biotech startup developing treatments to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer.

Why: Emerging next-generation immunotherapies have the potential to increase patient cure rates.

Funding: €4.5 million Seed Round + €5.8 million non-dilutive funding from the EIC accelerator, Bpifrance iNov, and France 2030 clinical grant.  
Who: Co- founders Martine Caroff & Frédéric Caroff

Investors: Elaia, Xista Science Ventures, Fondation Fournier-Majoie, Noshaq, Angels Santé & Femmes Business Angels.

What's next: The new funding will finance the industrialization of drug production and regulatory toxicity studies to submit a marketing authorization application in Europe.

What: VoltR, a producer of reconditioned lithium batteries.

Why: To industrialize lithium battery reconditioning in Europe.

Funding: €4 million
Who: Co- founders Maxime Bleskine, Alban Regnier, François Mallet, Thibaud Maufront

Investors: C4 Ventures, Exergon, Pays de la Loire Participations & Anjou Amorçage.

What's next: With the funds raised, VoltR will continue the initial stages of the company's development, including optimizing reconditioning processes, Research & Development, and recruiting new talents. Fundraising for its Series A round is underway and the company expects it to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2024.

What: Klineo, a digital health startup that uses an AI-based platform that connects doctors and patients directly with relevant clinical trials.

Why: More patients are willing to participate in trials of experimental treatments, but often don't know about them.

Funding: €2 million
Who: Co- founders Thomas Peyresblanques & Dr Arnaud Bayle

Investors: Bpifrance & various Business Angels

What's next: Currently, the platform notably covers clinical trials in breast cancer, skin cancer & lymphoma. The new funding will go towards enabling it to cover all cancers in France by the end of 2024.

What: Edonia, a B2B ingredient supplier in the field of protein materials.

Why: To produce healthy, high-protein alternatives to meat using ingredients based on microalgae (spirulina, chlorella).

Funding: €2 million
Who: Co- founders Hugo Valentin & Florent Malbranche

Investors: Asterion Ventures, Bpifrance & various Business Angels including Alexis Angot (Ynsect), Laurent Cardinali (Danone, Mondelez), Hugo Dupuis (Umiami), Samuel Nahon (Terroirs d’Avenir), Anne Cabotin (Symrise)

What's next: The fresh cash will enable the company to industrialize its technology and extend its R&D.

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