Polish Aether Biomedical raises $5.8M to develop its bionic hand for upper limb amputees

Aether Biomedical, a biotech company creating cutting-edge bionic prosthetics, has raised a $5.8 million Series A funding round led by J2 Ventures and Story Ventures. The company is also working to get its devices to people injured during the war in Ukraine.

  • Founded in 2018 by Dhruv Agrawal and Faith Jawakhan, Aether is based in Poland with U.S. headquarters in Chicago. The company’s flagship product is the Zeus hand, a bionic hand for upper limb amputees. Zeus uses neural signals, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and deep learning to give users more autonomy and ease in their daily lives.
  • The Zeus hand can lift up to 77 pounds and switch between 12 customizable grip patterns in real-time. More than 200 patients are using Aether’s Zeus hand, and like other bionic hands, it works by translating the electrical signals in the arm muscles. When a patient thinks of a grip like holding a bottle or pinching a needle, Aether’s sensors detect these electrical signals, and its software converts them into actions.

“We know that upper limb amputees want stronger grips and less downtime if their prosthesis needs maintenance. As such, we’ve developed new cloud-based technology akin to modern smart home devices to increase communication between provider and patient, shortened the time of maintenance by sending parts directly to providers, and improved grip strength by 30-40% over other market options.”

said Dhruv Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of Aether Biomedical.
  • The fresh investment was co-led by US-based early-stage venture-capital firm J2 Ventures, which specializes in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, healthcare and material science, and Story Ventures, an NYC-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage companies at the intersection of the modern data stack (creation, organization, and application of data). The round also included participation from the existing partner, Chiratae Ventures. 
  • Aether will use the new capital to expand manufacturing options for the Zeus hand and advance research and development, with the mission of creating healthcare technology and robotics based on human-centered design. The company also plans to distribute products to war-ridden territories, including Ukraine.