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Kiwi AI breast cancer detection solution raises $AU20 million

05 Jun 18

Wellington-based ASX-listed Volpara Health Technologies has raised $AU20 million through an oversubscribed placement to institutional investors and a share purchase plan to speed up growth in the US, expand New Zealand research and development (R&D) and fund the rollout of direct sales into Asia.

This announcement from Volpara, which focuses on early detection of breast cancer using artificial intelligence, comes alongside releasing strong results for the full financial year March 2018.

Volpara CEO Dr Ralph Highnam says the company has delivered year-on-year growth as a result of its successful transition, begun in FY17, from a predominantly capital sales model to a Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

“These results reflect progress made in FY18, where we met all our objectives, including increasing annualised recurring revenue by more than 200%, while keeping costs mostly in line with FY17 and increasing our market share to more than 3% of US women.

“It is pleasing to see our progress now beginning to be reflected in the financial results we are delivering.”

Cash on hand was NZ$4.84m as at 31 March 2018, and now is approximately NZ$24.5m after the successful placement and share purchase plan raising A$20m for the company.

“We have continued to develop VolparaEnterprise throughout FY18 while also making advances in our product pipeline, with some exciting new products set to be released by the Wellington-based engineering team to the market towards the end of the calendar year,” Highnam says.

“These products will help to ensure we have happy customers and at the same time draw more customers in and increase price per woman.

“With the capital raise, we now have the funds necessary to continue our strong growth, but as always we are still very much focused on preserving and improving shareholder value with prudent spending,” he adds.

Volpara has also announced it is about to begin phase two of a major breast cancer research project [the PROCAS II project] with the UK National Health System.

“Having addressed all of phase one's data governance and system design requirements, Volpara will now deploy our solution across six sites, covering 8,000 women for a 22-month paid trial,” Highnam says.