Health tech start-up snap40 secures £2m seed funding

From left: snap40 co-founders David Bowie, Christopher McCann and Stewart Whiting. Picture: Stewart Attwood

From left: snap40 co-founders David Bowie, Christopher McCann and Stewart Whiting. Picture: Stewart Attwood

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An Edinburgh healthcare technology firm has secured a £2 million cash injection in the largest seed funding round for a Scottish start-up in more than a decade.

Co-founded by chief executive and former University of Dundee medical student Christopher McCann, snap40 has developed a device that straps to a patient’s arm and measures vital signs such as their heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, and then analyses the data to work out which patients are at the highest risk of deteriorating.

This investment is based on the strength of our product and the progress of our amazing team

Christopher McCann

The first tranche of the £2m funding, led by Edinburgh-based investor Par Equity, will allow the company to grow its engineering and data science team, complete clinical trials and gain regulatory clearance as it targets the entire EU healthcare market. The firm also plans to open a US office next year.

READ MORE: Four Scottish tech firms to watch over the next 12 months

McCann left university in his third year to set up snap40 alongside co-founders David Bowie, the firm’s chief operating officer, and data science lead Stewart Whiting.

“This investment is based on the strength of our product and the progress of our amazing team,” said McCann, who decided to launch snap40 after witnessing patients deteriorating on hospital wards due to the late recognition of warning signs.

“We are excited to work with Par Equity and the rest of our shareholders as we build snap40 into a dominant player in the global people-health monitoring market. We have a product that can save lives, while providing clinical and economic benefits to health services.”

The patient-monitoring market is estimated to be worth more than $35 billion (£28.5bn) and is dominated by a small number of multinationals focused on critical care monitoring. A snap40 spokesman said start-ups were beginning to break into the sector but none of its rivals monitor the same breadth of vital signs from a single device.

Robert Higginson, partner at Par Equity, said: “We are delighted to be supporting snap40, a business with an ambitious vision for the future.

“The team has already demonstrated the ability to deliver to its plan, which is why we are supporting the business from such an early stage. This is a global market with significant potential and we believe snap40 is the company to succeed.”

With a core team of five people, snap40 is planning to recruit a further four software engineers and data scientists over the coming five months, as well as building its commercial team over the course of next year. It is currently demonstrating the performance of its product in a major clinical trial at a UK hospital.

In 2004, University of Edinburgh spin-out MTEM, an oil and gas technology firm, launched with £7.4m in funding from HitecVision, Energy Ventures, and Scottish Equity Partners, and three years later was snapped up by Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services for $275m (£224m).

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