The Basque company IRISBOND raises public-private funds to promote its eye-tracking technology in healthcare and its expansion in the USA
- The company has received €2m from investors, including Sociedad de Capital Riesgo, SGEIC, from the SPRI Group, as well as a further part corresponding to the Hazitek Singular Strategic Hazitek programme, promoted by the Basque Government, which finances the development of a project of more than 2.5 million over the next three years.
- IRISBOND is a company in the process of expansion at a growth rate of more than double digits in the last four years.
- The objective of the funds will be to continue the expansion in the United States, to improve the company’s expansion in the United States, improve competitiveness in Augmentative and Alternative Communication as well as all improvements,
testing and certification in the clinical/hospital setting.
The Basque technology company IRISBOND has announced that it has received 2M€ from investors, including Sociedad de Capital Riesgo, SGEIC, of the SPRI Group, as well as another part corresponding to the Hazitek Singular Estratégico programme, promoted by the SPRI, as well as another part that corresponds to the Hazitek Singular Estratégico programme, promoted by the Basque Government, which finances the Basque Government, which finances the development of a project worth more than 2.5 M€ over the next three years.
IRISBOND is a Basque company founded in 2013 thanks, among other things, to the support for entrepreneurship by the SPRI Group, which develops and commercialises solutions based on Artificial Intelligence using eye-tracking techniques to facilitate human-machine interaction. From the outset has focused its activity on the world of care, becoming an international benchmark in AAC for people with motor limitations and is currently the leading eye-tracking company in the Spanish-speaking world. It is in the midst of an expansion process with a double-digit growth rate in the last 4 years. Today, it markets its products and services in more than 30 countries in Europe, USA and Latin America through Europe, USA and Latin America through more than 60 distributors and enjoys a network of international partners such as Samsung, Microsoft, Microsoft partners such as Samsung, Microsoft, Apple and MIT.
Currently more than 4,000 people around the world use IRISBOND’s technology to communicate with each other thanks to its 3rd generation eye-tracking system, the first and only multiplatform device in the world that worldwide capable of running on both Windows and iOS. Their exceptional product development led them to be awarded Apple’s Mfi certification in April 2022, something that only Mfi certification from Apple, something that only 2 companies in the world can boast.
The funds will be used to continue the company’s expansion in the United States, improve the competitiveness in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) as well as all clinical/hospital improvements, testing and certification. For more than a year now has been exploring a new business unit in the healthcare area for the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases through the study of the gaze.
“The new investment round seeks to reinforce IRISBOND’s international position in the area of Alternative Communication, setting up a commercial office in Boston, and strengthening its position as a leader in the Spanish market, as well as continuing with its constant commitment to technological innovation”, says Eduardo Jauregui, CEO of the company.
Support from investors and the Basque Government
The different investors who have joined this operation and who have contributed a total of 2 million euros, emphasise that “IRISBOND is a company in the process of expanding at a double-digit growth rate over the last four years. With a proprietary and disruptive technology, it has validated its product and business in a mature market and is opening up new business opportunities in areas of high expansion business opportunities in areas of great expansion, such as health and, more specifically, early diagnosis and rehabilitation. With a clear vocation for growth and international expansion, and at the same time a strong a marked social impact. Therefore, a company that provides great value to the shareholder in terms of profitability but also shareholder in terms of profitability but also corporate responsibility“.
The other part corresponds to the Hazitek Singular Estratégico programme, a programme promoted by the Basque Government for industrial research in strategic projects in areas such as smart industry or personalised health. In this case, the programme finances the development of a project worth more than 2.5 million over the next three years. A firm commitment to IRISBOND’s technological development in the field of health.
The support of the Hazitek Strategic Singular programme will allow for the development over the next few years of algorithms and solutions that will bring to the market a non-invasive and innovative solution based on eye gaze behaviour for the based on gaze behaviour for the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases.
“It has been demonstrated that eye gaze can be a biomarker for the early identification of severe neurodegenerative diseases. IRISBOND has developed a pre-clinical research together with the Hospital Universitario Donostia and Biogipuzkoa that relates Gaze Behaviour to Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)”, reveals Jauregui.
The company’s objectives in this new phase
Validating proof of concept in the healthcare area requires a major effort in product improvement, coordination and validation of clinical/hospital testing, product certification and finally market access.
Expansion in the United States
The American market is one of the great challenges, due to the size and market potential in the area of AAC, and also due to the projections in the area of health. Apple’s recent Mfi certification and the technology giant’s commitment to alternative communication make the American market particularly attractive. The company chose Boston as the location to set up its commercial headquarters as one of the most developed healthcare technology hubs. The challenge is to create the structure necessary for it to operate autonomously and drive more advanced businesses.
Improving competitiveness in AAC
At an international level, IRISBOND is one of the main players in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication using advanced technologies such as eye-tracking. The challenge is to continue rowing through agreements with global partners, distributors and selling directly, in order to at least double the market share.
In Spain, the Basque-based technology company is the market leader, offering AAC solutions and the only Spanish company that develops solutions based on eye-tracking. For years they have been been promoting, together with associations and public administration, the Fundamental Right to Communication. Today, thanks to this, the AAC technology through eye-tracking is financed by the Spanish public system. The challenge is for this right to become a reality in each and every one of our country’s autonomous communities of our country, creating a structure of professionals that will provide services throughout the country.
Today, more than 35 professionals make up the IRISBOND staff. Technological and international business profiles. In just two years they plan to double the workforce, focusing on commercial profiles to support their international growth, as well as teaching professionals to guarantee the best service in Spain. Technological evolution will require professionals in computer vision, data science and cybersecurity. And in the health area, profiles linked to neuroscience.
New milestones and partnerships
In the AAC area, they favour integrations with third parties that add differential value to the solution they provide to the client, with an open platform concept. The use of algorithms based on artificial intelligence and deep learning tools will allow them to adapt their solutions to the needs of end users, personalising the user experience and adapting it to different pathologies in the field of disability.
In the area of health, the development of advanced biomarkers that can capture millions of data and manage them in a cyber-secure way, combined with pattern definition techniques, will open up an as yet unknown space in the field of preventive and personalised health.
Visibility in new markets
Although they have always been present at the main international events and congresses in AAC, the challenge is to have a greater presence and commitment that will allow them to establish themselves as an essential agent at an international level and an undisputed leader in the local market.