Voxelgrids manufactures 1.5T MRI scanners that are mobile and said to be easy to install and can be operated even in remote locations such as small villages.

Sridhar Vembu wearing a dark shirt and jeans, sitting on a staircase looking at camera and smiling to his right
Atom Investment Wednesday, September 08, 2021 - 16:07

Chennai-headquartered Zoho Corp invested $5 million in MRI startup Voxelgrids for a roughly 25% stake. Voxelgrids manufactures 1.5T MRI scanners that are mobile and said to be easy to install and can be operated even in remote locations such as small villages. The equipment also includes a proprietary software package for imaging purposes.

“Voxelgrids' indigenous MRI technology provides a next generation, cost-effective alternative that enables healthcare facilities to save on capital and operational expenditure,” Zoho said in a statement. 

Voxelgrids has reportedly developed multiple technologies related to MRI scanners, based on custom cryogenics and electronic design and the company is looking to monetise this through OEM partnerships with other vendors in the field. The scanner, according to the company, can also be mounted on custom mobile platforms and transported to remote locations where the product can be made operational within a few hours. Voxelgrids also aims to have multiple full-fledged clinical sites before the end of the 2021-22 financial year. 

According to the FICCI-Deloitte paper on Medical Technology, there are only 0.4 medical scanners per thousand beds, with access largely in tier-I cities. 

Zoho Corp CEO Sridhar Vembu said, “One of the pressing concerns for the Indian economy today is the lack of indigenous industrial know-how and manufacturing capabilities...Voxelgrids is one of the few companies that is working to solve this problem with MRI machines entirely built in India. We need more such companies that can own and command this type of engineering know-how across different sectors."

"Voxelgrids is doing research and development to generate significant IP in the MRI space with the objective of translating it into impactful applications that can make a difference in people's lives. We have made notable strides in this area, and are grateful for Zoho's support. DeepTech products, like ours, require a significant amount of time from completing the R&D to taking the product to market, and most often, this is the time where we face insufficient funding. The investment from Zoho will help us bridge this gap and speed up our efforts to scale," said Dr. Arjun Arunachalam, CEO and founder, Voxelgrids.

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