Software company HypnoVR, which provides digital medical hypnosis therapy via a virtual reality headset, has raised €4.5 million ($5.1M).
This series A funding round involved newcomers, including lead investor Theodorus (Belgium), the Banque des Territoires (France) operating for the French state as part of the Investments for the Future Programme (Programme d’investissements d’avenir, PIA), Akiles (Belgium) and Capital Grand Est via Alsace Création (France).
They were joined by some of the company’s previous investors, including Guillaume Richard, founder and CEO of OuiCare (French market leader in home care services), and the family office of Daniel Caille, founder and CEO of Vivalto Santé (third largest provider of private hospital services in France). The company also received funding from Bpifrance, the French public investment bank.
The funds will allow HypnoVR to accelerate the commercial roll-out of its virtual reality-based medical hypnosis solution in France and globally.
The company will also be stepping up efforts in its award-winning R&D program in order to further increase the therapeutic efficacy of its solution and broaden its scope of application to other medical and paramedical fields.
Founded by Dr. Denis Graff and Dr. Chloé Chauvin, both anesthetists and hypnotherapists, and Nicolas Schaettel, an entrepreneur specialized in new technologies, HypnoVR has developed a digital therapy leveraging medical hypnosis and Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR).
The therapeutic efficacy of this solution has been clinically validated. It is currently used as a form of non-pharmacological anesthesia to diminish sensations of pain, anxiety and general discomfort during medical procedures.
This helps to significantly reduce the use of sedative and anxiolytic drugs and the side-effects they cause in patients.
Nicolas Schaettel, president and co-founder of HypnoVR, said: “We are delighted with this new funding round involving a group of European investors.
“I would like to extend my most heartfelt thanks for their trust in our company. HypnoVR was one of the first specialists to develop and roll-out medical hypnosis solutions using virtual reality, after confirming its therapeutic efficacy in clinical settings.
“This funding shows the relevance and international potential of our medical hypnosis technology when it comes to reducing pain and anxiety. It also confirms that we are recognized as a leader in this field.
“We are very proud to participate in this new funding round for HypnoVR. This is the first time Theodorus has made an investment outside of Belgium.
“What really convinced us was the experience of the team and the numerous possibilities opened up by the company’s pioneering technology, which offers healthcare professionals an additional tool to care for patients both in hospital and private practice,” said Alexandre Jouve, principal at Theodorus.
Gabriel Giabicani, director of operations and innovation at the Investment Department of Banque des Territoires, said: “HypnoVR illustrates perfectly the potential benefits that digital technology can bring to the daily lives of patients and healthcare professionals.
“This solution, serving the well-being of as many people as possible, is fully in line with the mandate that the French State has entrusted to us, that of supporting impactful solutions for tomorrow’s healthcare.
“We are very happy to be able to support the HypnoVR team in this new phase in its development.”
HypnoVR’s digital medical hypnosis therapy, which brings a personalized experience via a virtual reality headset programmed according to the needs of each patient, is used in operating rooms to reduce pain and anxiety during anesthesia procedures and in numerous specialist medical fields such as dental care, oncology, urology, gynecology and medical imagery.
It can also be used to help healthcare professionals manage their stress better and improve quality of life at work. Currently more than 240 healthcare institutions across Europe use HypnoVR’s technology.
Since it was established in late 2016, HypnoVR has published 13 scientific papers demonstrating the efficacy of its digital therapy in managing pain and anxiety in the fields of post-operative pain reduction, pediatrics, dentistry and IVF.
Studies showed a 93% reduction in anxiety when placing implantable ports, a 41% reduction in chronic pain, and a 45% reduction in the consumption of opioids, 63% in the consumption of anxiolytics and 40% post-operative pain in scoliosis surgeries.
The company also forged partnerships with leading medical groups such as Vivalto Santé; B. Braun when it comes to providing total peri-operative care; and Pierre Fabre Oral Care in the field of dentistry. HypnoVR is certified in accordance with ISO 13485.