Brisbane-based health tech company VALD has raised US$25 million ($37.5 million) from Canadian investment firm Vistara Growth and Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) to secure new acquisitions and boost its growing base in the North American market.
The human-measurements software developer, which is penetrating the allied health sector with its software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, sees the investment from Vistara Growth as critical to its North American strategy which has seen the company make inroads into the professional sports sector in recent years.
QIC, an existing major shareholder, has also taken a bigger piece of the VALD pie as the Queensland Government looks to assist the company scale up in its home base.
VALD provides a range of human measurement technologies that it says ‘democratises access to musculoskeletal technology to improve data-driven decision making’.
The VALD platform is employed by professional sporting teams globally, including the English Premier League, NBA and NFL, to better monitor athlete performance, injury and recovery.
The company was founded in 2015 by Laurie Malone and Sam James who were named winners of the Technology category at this year’s Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards. The entrepreneurs have grown the business through in-house product development and acquisitions that have seen VALD expand its platform to service a range of healthcare practitioners, including physiotherapists.
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Malone, the CEO of VALD, says the new investment from Vistara Growth offers his company strategic benefits in its dominant North American market, where VALD generates more than 50 per cent of company revenues.
“This partnership with Vistara Growth will accelerate our ongoing North American expansion and allow us to make further inroads into the healthcare market worldwide,” says Malone.
“We like to say that after helping teams win sporting championships, we’re now helping grandmothers successfully recover from hip surgery so they can pick up their grandkids again.”
VALD plans to apply funds from the capital raise to expand its team after adding an extra 100 staff in 2022, while it also plans to use the funds for three new acquisitions to grow its product base.
VALD is the first Australian investment for Vistara Growth which specialises in helping technology companies expand their business. Vistara was founded in 2015 by Randy Garg who has been working with early-stage technology companies for the past 20 years. Garg is supported in the leadership team by Noah Shipman, a former principal at technology-focused boutique investment bank Garibaldi Capital Advisors.
“VALD is the type of highly ambitious, disciplined and globally minded technology company Vistara Growth seeks to invest in,” says Shipman, a Vistara Growth partner.
“We are excited to back our first Australian-based company and see VALD as the world leader in their market.
“VALD’s human measurement technology had been battle tested by the world’s most demanding customers in professional sport and defence organisations. With rapid early adoption in healthcare settings, it was time to prepare for global expansion, and we are thrilled to be VALD’s partner in driving this next phase of growth.”
QIC’s participation in the latest VALD fund raise has been sourced from the Queensland Government’s $100 million Business Investment Fund, which is managed by QIC.
“The Queensland Government has been supporting VALD through our capital investment programs since the company’s infancy, helping to accelerate its technology into a global success story,” says Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick.
“VALD’s human measurement technologies are enabling the world’s best professional athletes to improve their performance by incorporating data-driven training and rehabilitation.”
Dick says the investment by QIC will help VALD accelerate its expansion into the health sector.
“This will see VALD continue to expand its local team here in Brisbane, building their existing Queensland based team which numbers over 120,” he says.
VALD’s global customer base includes the Mayo Clinic in the US and Europe’s leading musculoskeletal facility Kantonsspital Winterthur Hospital in Switzerland.
“We use the data to generate immediate reports to our referrals, for instant and retrospective analysis of our rehabilitation protocols, and to conduct prospective clinical research,” says Peter Brem, the senior clinical specialist of physiotherapy at Kantonsspital Winterthur Hospital.
“Data captured through VALD allows us to remove subjectivity and determine the best treatment plan for our patients. This data allows us to create recovery plans that are unique in Switzerland and across mainland Europe.”
Malone says musculoskeletal conditions are a major burden on health systems globally, costing the US alone $256 billion a year.
“Our systems capture quantifiable objective data that help improve decision-making across a range of disciplines and provide deep, visualisable insights that save time and make it easier to analyse longitudinal trends across high-quality data points,” says Malone.
“Musculoskeletal injuries are a systemic issue that places huge burdens on healthcare systems across the world, and we’re eager to apply VALD’s technology to help alleviate these issues for our clients and their patients.”