MetaOptima Raises $8.6 Million to Detect Skin Cancer with AI

A healthtech company using AI to digitize the diagnosis system has raised a new funding round.

MetaOptima Technology has raised $8.6 million to grow its cutting-edge DermEngine platform. The Series A round was led by the Australian Skip Capital and AirTree Ventures, with respective fund principals Scott Farquhar and Daniel Petre joining the MetaOptima board.

“Our vision is bold: we want to be in every major dermatology centre and skin cancer clinic in Australia, and we’re well on track to making that a reality,” said Maryam Sadeghi, CEO and co-founder of MetaOptima. “With the support of AirTree Ventures and Skip Capital, we’re confident our platform will continue to shape and change the state of play for both healthcare professionals and patients.”

As Sadeghi mentions, the new funding will go towards expanding DermEngine into new markets throughout Australia and the rest of the world.

The Vancouver-based MetaOptima also designed the mobile dermoscope MoleScope, and both proprietary platforms are meant to help healthcare professionals screen patients through every stage of skin cancer and melanoma.

“We immediately recognized the potential the DermEngine platform has to radically modernize the dermatology field in Australia,” said Farquhar. “Its ability to provide cutting-edge technology to manage, track and diagnose skin spots will improve early detection rates, which is crucial to melanoma survival rates.”

MoleScope is a device that can attach to smartphones and capture high quality images of moles. Users can track how the mole progresses over time with medical-grade imaging and seek help or another opinion if it becomes a problem. DermEngine is an intelligent dermatology platform that works with MoleScope and other dermatoscopes in the medical sector. It provides images, clinical notes and pathology reports to both doctors and patients to help with communicating and diagnosing skin conditions.

Skin cancer is a massive problem in Australia, as the condition accounts for roughly 80 per cent of newly diagnosed cancers in the country. Farquhar and Petre (the two fund principals responsible for this funding) worked together to find a leading company using AI to diagnose melanoma and MetaOptima was a perfect choice.

The company has already gained traction in Australia and is looking to expand more throughout North America. In 2014, MetaOptima won the Plug and Play Startup Showdown, taking home $25,000 and a trip to Silicon Valley for three months.