The Daily Startup: Robotic Eye Surgery Developer Auris Surgical Snags $150M

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Auris Surgical Robotics Inc., the developer of a robotic system for eye surgery, has raised $150 million in financing, Brian Gormley reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The company is headed by Frederic Moll, known as the father of medical robotics, who previously founded other robotics companies, including venture-backed Intuitive Surgical Inc., which went public in 2000, and venture-funded Hansen Medical Inc., which went public in 2006. David Schummers, vice president of marketing, declined to comment on specifics of the company, saying it is in “pretty deep stealth mode.” A regulatory filing disclosing the funding lists NaviMed Capital Managing Director Bijan Salehizadeh, Lux Capital Managing Partner Peter Hebert and Ajay Royan, who co-founded Mithril Capital Management with Peter Thiel, as directors on the board.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Wayin, a startup founded by ex-Sun s CEO and co-founder Scott McNealy, has raised $15.4 million in new funding for its service that helps marketers use public posts shared by social media users in their own campaigns and measure the impact of their marketing campaigns in real-time. U.S. Venture Partners led the round.

Replimune Ltd., a startup that is advancing a new approach to viral cancer therapy, has raised $30 million in Series A financing. Atlas Venture led the round, which included prior investors Forbion Capital Partners and Omega Funds, which had seeded the company.

LifeImage Inc., a company that has built a platform for the exchange of medical images, has raised $5 million in new funding. The funding was provided by Zaffre Investments, which is the investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

DriverUp, an online marketplace for car loans, announced the closing of a $20 million Series B round, seven months after emerging with $50 million in Series A financing. The company, whose corporate name is Sierra Auto Finance LLC, said new investor SF Capital Group led the round joined by existing investors Emerald Development Managers and RRE Ventures.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)


Pure Storage IPO: Struggling To Top Late-Stage Valuation. Storage startup Pure Storage Inc. has estimated the price range for its initial public offering at $16 to $18 per share–a range that at the midpoint would value the company at $3.1 billion, which is just above its last private market valuation of $3 billion, The Wall Street Journal’s Maureen Farrell reports. The company’s IPO is expected to price in early October, according to IPO Boutique.

Online Lender Prosper Diversifies With Purchase of Personal Finance App. Online lending marketplace Prosper Marketplace Inc., is expanding its offerings by acquiring Israeli personal-finance security Billguard Inc., the WSJ’s Telis Demos and Peter Rudegeair report. Billguard makes an app that helps users stay on budget, track their spending and monitor their credit for possibly fraudulent purchases.

Uber’s Low-Cost Service UberPop Banned in Brussels. Ride-hailing company Uber Technology Inc.‘s low-cost service, UberPop, has been banned in Brussels by a commercial court, the WSJ’s Natalia Drozdiak reports. “We are looking at the implications of this ruling,” Uber spokesman Gareth Mead said. The ruling doesn’t apply to Uber’s other services.

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