Swiftsure Innovations, the Pasadena, NL-based startup developing a device for cleaning the mouths and throats of people on ventilators, has raised $1.05 million in an oversubscribed seed round.
The round’s backers included Threshold Impact, Killick Capital, Pluto Investments, Pelorus Venture Capital and female-focused venture capital firm Sandpiper Ventures. Sandpiper revealed it had invested in Swiftsure on Oct. 14, but refused to comment on the size of the deal.
“Completing this pre-seed round means we can ramp up development of our device, which aims to improve oral care for ventilated patients and offer nurses an optimal infection prevention solution,” said Founder Deanne McCarthy in a press release.
Swiftsure has also raised $149,500 of non-dilutive funding from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Innovation, Energy and Technology. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately reply to a request for comment asking whether the non-dilutive money is included in the $1.05 million figure.
McCarthy, a registered nurse, started work on Swiftsure last year after observing the problems created by endotracheal tubes, which are used in hospital ventilators and can cause patients to contract pneumonia, with a mortality rate as high as 50 percent.
Traditional ventilator tubes lack a proper seal on the patient’s mouth. Combined with prolonged dryness in the mouth and nasal cavity, the incomplete seal creates a hospitable environment for pathogens. Swiftsure has designed a more advanced tube that it says improves the seal and reduces the risk of infection by spraying the mouth and nose with fluid.