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Matakina Technology raises $5.5 mln for export push on breast imaging software

Wednesday 10th December 2014

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Matakina Technology, a Wellington based medical technology company, has raised $5.5 million from high net worth individuals and fund managers in Australian and New Zealand including the Milford Active Growth Fund.

The money will help the five year-old company launch the next growth phase of its Volpara Solutions breast imaging software, which helps early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer through accurate breast density assessment. Founded by a group of four including a physicist and cancer and medical imaging specialists, Matakina has already achieved 157 installations in 32 countries.

The investment round was over-subscribed by about $500,000, the company said. 

“Investors understand that the time is right, the market is ready and that Volpara Solutions is at the forefront of a global revolution in breast screening," said chief executive and biggest shareholder Ralph Highnam. "They want to be part of it.”

He said the company was now set to tap further into the global breast screen imaging market, which was worth around $1.5 billion annually.

“With this new capital under our belt, we’ll be pushing Volpara sales and marketing further into the US, Europe and Asian markets," he said. "We will also be using the funds to migrate Volpara to the cloud.”

James Beale, of Craigs Investments Partners which advised on the investment round, said Matakina was an attractive investment as an emerging New Zealand med-tech company that’s quickly built a niche in a growing global market.

“Matakina operates in a specialised market, with a highly skilled sales team based in the US," Beale said. "With a number of growth opportunities ahead, the company is now positioned to increase sales quickly and move towards profitability."

Milford Funds’ Brooke Bone said Matakina’s product was gaining public interest and sales in the US and Europe. “ We found the combination of strong governance, experienced management and proven sales track record, coupled with its unique product, an attractive combination.”

The company has received about $5 million in government funding, including $1 million from Callaghan Innovation.

It recently completed installations in Turkey and Thailand and said it was hoping to soon finalise a contract with a multi-national conglomerate that would embed the product in the global market. Mid-year it said the software was being trialled by the Dutch Breast Screening Organisation and if successful, the trial could lead to a $15.5 million annual tender to screen about two million women in the Netherlands.


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