Global deals roundup: bubbly Butterfly blank check, Imprivata-FairWarning, Virta Health, OTV, WithMe Health, Perfood, Sofía

Christmas is definitely bubbly in the global tub, in the year-end rush to finalize those Big Deals and Corral That Cash.

‘Blank check’ acquisitions accelerate. The latest digital health SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) is hand-held ultrasound developer Butterfly Network with Longview Acquisition Corp. Longview, a SPAC sponsored by Glenview Capital Management, LLC, brings the listing on the NYSE, Butterfly brings the name and the tech. The deal is valued at $1.5 billion and is expected to have an estimated $584 million in cash after closing expected in Q1 next year. The combined company will trade under BFLY. Existing investors remain and will convert to common stock shareholders. Founder Dr. Jonathan Rothberg will be chairman and largest controlling shareholder. The company’s product is the Butterfly iQ+ hand-held ultrasound probe and mobile software. priced at $1,999 plus a ‘membership cost’ of a standard $99/year. Release This follows on last week’s three-way SPAC with GigCapital2 Inc., UpHealth Holdings, and Cloudbreak Health LLC [TTA 26 Nov].

Data security is hot too. Imprivata, which specializes in digital identity management for healthcare organizations to secure workflows and IT systems, just picked up the FairWarning Technologies insider threat prevention, patient privacy, and data security platform. FairWarning has worked with leading US health systems such as Mount Sinai Health System (NYC), Memorial Hermann (Houston), plus in the UK NHS Lothian and NHS Homerton. Not surprisingly as both companies are in the business of privacy, terms of the deal, timing, and leadership team were not disclosed. Healthcare IT News, Imprivata release.

Virta Health gained a healthy Series D with a $65 million raise, led by Sequoia Capital Global Equities. Virta now has a total funding of $231 million and now has joined the unicorns with a valuation of $1.1 bn. Virta’s treatment using remote patient coaching and carbohydrate dietary restriction reverses Type 2 diabetes, reducing A1C and eliminating the patient’s requirement for diabetes medications. Bloomberg, Virta release

Israel’s Olive Tree Ventures has rebranded itself as OTV and announced the closing of a $170 million fund with a total value of $170M. It is Israel’s first and only primarily digital health venture capital fund. Joining the company is a new Head of Asia Pacific, Jose Antonio Urrutia Rivas, for planned expansion into that market. Release

WithMe Health, an app-based personalized medication guidance company, raised $20 million in a Series B funding led by OMERS Ventures with existing investor Oak HC/FT and new investors Section 32, Shulman Ventures, and MTS Ventures. Release

In Germany, digital therapeutics startup Perfood GmbH raised a €5 million ($5.9 million) Series A to launch its first prescription therapeutics next year. Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund led the round, with UV-Cap and investiere. Their personalized nutrition products based on DNA sequencing and gut microbiomes are prescribed as alternatives or add-ons to conventional medications. Their first product available for prescription (in Germany only) will be sinCephalea for treating episodic migraine. MillionFriends is their weight management program based on coaching, gut microbiome analysis, and nutrition management. Mobihealthnews

And in Latin America, Sofía, a Mexico City-based telemedicine and insurance startup, gained a $19 million Series A funding, led by Index Ventures with Calvary Ventures, Kaszek Ventures, and Ribbit Capital. Started by three friends at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), the company launched with a COVID-19 related telemedicine service, grew quickly to 10,000 users, then moved into insurance, using a core group of 100 physicians in the D.F. in 70 different specialist areas. TechCrunch

Butterfly IQ handheld ultrasound offers clinical-quality body imaging for under $2,000

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”200″ /]Butterfly IQ is a NYC and Connecticut-based company which has developed a handheld ultrasound that transmits images to a smartphone. Where it differs from current handhelds like GE’s VScan is that it uses a single transducer for all images both near-field and deeper in body, and connects to a iPhone loaded with their software.

Larger machines, even on portable carts like the Philips Lumify [TTA 27 Mar] operate on an older vibrating crystals-based technology. The IQ uses capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers or CMUTs. 

It claims to be FDA-cleared for 13 applications. All this is delivered for under $2,000, far under other handhelds or carts (VScan is above $12,000, Lumify about $6,000), with delivery this year (pre-order notification at present) in the US only. Butterfly is also working on problems such as the volume of blood a heart is pumping or detecting problems like aortic aneurysms.

The IQ has a brace of impressive testimonials from doctors at Yale, UC Irvine, Denver Health, Rocky Vista University, Mass General, St. Elizabeth’s (Boston), and Metrowest Medical Center. According to vascular surgeon and company chief medical officer Dr. John Martin, he used it on himself to diagnose a mass in his neck last year that turned out to be Stage 4 cancer, for which he is under treatment. Daily Mail, 9to5 Mac, MIT Technology Review  Hat tip to Editor Emeritus Steve Hards