Open Bionics raises $5.9 million to make affordable 3D printed bionic limbs

Open Bionics, a company focused on creating affordable, 3D printed, bioninc limbs for amputees, has closed a Series A funding round. Led by Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, the company has successfully raised $5.9 million from Ananda Impact Ventures and early stage VC Downing Ventures.

The money will be used to support Open Bionics’ international distribution, and allow the company to deliver bionic hands to amputees in the U.S. for the first time this year.

Joel Gibbard, co-founder and CEO of Open Bionics, comments, “This investment provides crucial capital to help Open Bionics deliver on its vision of making advanced prostheses available to a much wider audience of limb-different users,”

“We look forward to offering the Hero Arm in multiple international markets and continuing the development of great products that solve challenges within mobility and independence.”

The Open Bionics Hero Arm

Founded in 2014, Open Bionics is headquartered in Bristol, inside Future Space laboratories and workspace, co-located with Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

It’s flagship product is the Hero Arm, a bionically controlled device activated by muscles of the upper arm. Each Hero Arm from Open Bionics is custom made, using 3D scanning to determine a comfortable fit in the socket, and 3D printing to personalize the hand.

The product is clinically tested, and registered by the FDA. It has also gained the support of Disney, allowing the company to create prosthesis themed on superheros like Captain America and Iron Man, and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill.

A BB8-style Hero Arm. Photo via Open Bionics
A BB8-style Hero Arm. Photo via Open Bionics

The pursuit of commercialization

Made using traditional techniques, the type of devices made by Open Bionics were deemed too expensive to be provided by national health services, including the NHS in the UK. Now though, Open Bionics has successfully sold Hero Arms to national healthcare systems in France and Spain, with availability in prosthetic clinics in the UK.

Open Bionics’ Series A investors will also leverage their expertise to help the company’s development. According to Samantha Payne, co founder and COO at Open Bionics, “We’re exceptionally excited to receive this support from such high calibre investors who not only offer financial backing but incredible experience in commercialization, measuring impact, and engineering high performance hardware.”

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Featured image shows Open Bionics co-founders Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne. Photo by Jon Atiken