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15th September 2020
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One Day Left to Invest in Healthcare Pioneer Rescape Innovation

Cardiff based medical technology business Rescape Innovation is entering its last day on Crowdcube and already raised almost £450k of equity capital to help the company expand its proven use of virtual reality in the treatment of NHS patients and helping frontline staff.

Rescape listed on Crowdcube at a pre-money valuation of £3.1m and follows a seed equity round completed in February 2019.

As the equity round nears completion, significant pledges have been secured from Welsh based angel investors and the Development Bank of Wales’ Angel Co-Fund. Now that the company is overfunding from its original target, the Directors will be able to grow the business quicker to take advantage of the significant market opportunity with the NHS and associated healthcare markets. “There has been a flurry of interest as the campaign closes, with over £80k committed in the last 7 days, the last 12hrs will be frantic, it will be interesting to see where we end at midnight on Monday!” said Matt Wordley Rescape’s CEO.

Andrew Diplock is the Lead Investor and Chairman of Rescape and said:

“I was really proud when we attracted some experienced and impressive investors at our seed funding round in February 2019. The passion, commitment and drive of Matt, Kev and the Rescape team has impressed me and other investors. They are a pleasure to work with, are building on some great work done so far and plan for significant global market presence for DR.VR.”

Rescape confirmed that as well as many of the original investors following on in the current equity round, it has also added further significant strength to the investor group including experienced investors from medtech and medical backgrounds including practising Doctors.

Richard Twomey is one of those investors and is the ex-CEO of Mölnlycke, a world leading medical solutions company, commented:

“Having led international medical technology companies, I was impressed with Rescape’s focus on innovation, establishing solid clinical evidence and health economics. I am excited to join their journey as an investor as they have a huge opportunity to make a VR platform that will impact healthcare on a global scale.”

Chris Jones, ex-CEO of Welsh Water has also invested in Rescape, he stated:

“I invested in Rescape because I was impressed by the obvious commitment of the team to changing current practice for the better and positively impacting on people’s lives. They have a proven technology and a clear plan of how to use the investment. It’s also great to be able to back a Welsh company with a global ambition.”

Rescape was also delighted to get the commitment from several medical Doctors. Dr Rhidian Morgan-Jones, a trauma & orthopaedic Consultant Surgeon added:

“There has been a considerable buzz about VR in healthcare. It not hard to see how DR.VR is going to be able to help patients while making savings for healthcare. As a Doctor it is an opportunity to back a start-up that can give me a new approach to managing pain and anxiety.”

Several existing investors have committed investment again Diplock confirmed. Patrick Nash, Founder Director at Connect Assist in Nantgarw commented:

“Since the first raise in 2019 I’ve been excited to see how Rescape’s journey has grown. It’s not been easy at times, but the team have made smart strategic decisions and we are now seeing the blossoming of that hard work. Being previously involved in building innovative and digital health and well-being solutions, I’m proud to be able to reinvest in Rescape and to get VR into the hands of patients across the world.”

Diplock concluded:

“Don’t just take it from me; from Doctors, to business and academic leaders, experience angel investors to tech entrepreneurs, their insight has already led them to invest in Rescape along with 540+ other investors.” 

Details of Rescape’s equity fundraise can be found at www.crowdcube.com/rescape.

Richard Twomey, Ex-CEO Mölnlyck said:

“Having led international medical technology companies, I was impressed with Rescape’s focus on innovation, establishing solid clinical evidence and health economics. I am excited to join their journey as an investor as they have a huge opportunity to make a VR platform that will impact healthcare on a global scale.”

Rescape partnered with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University to demonstrate the very human benefits VR has brought to frontline NHS teams facing COVID-19, and the potential to roll out this technology and increase the adoption of VR in a range of future medical treatment plans.

Rescape already has a track record in the use of VR to support patient recovery and rehabilitation, working with cancer patients at Velindre Hospital, and Cystic Fibrosis patients in Cardiff and Vale Health Board, and the value of VR has also been evidenced in mums in childbirth. Now, for the first time, they’ve been successfully using virtual reality through their DR.VR™ platform to help reduce anxiety and stress amongst NHS staff tackling the pandemic, which has far reaching implications on NHS costs. In January this year alone, before the pandemic struck, over 434,000 work days were lost to anxiety, stress, depression and other psychiatric illnesses amongst NHS staff, and to give an idea of scale, a reduction of one day per staff member per year saves the NHS £150m.

Dr Austin Gibbs, Director The Allan Lab said:

“There’s little doubt that VR has a role to play in clinical practice. As a Doctor in the field it’s exciting to see the growing body of evidence supporting its use. Like all innovations however, translating that which is easy to do in the laboratory with what’s practical to do in the clinic is where the real challenge lies. DR.VR offers us a real usable all in one solution to deploy VR distraction at the coal face. It’s our go to system when colleagues call us to assist in difficult or challenging procedures where patient comfort is paramount. Easy to use, effective and practical, at present there’s nothing else that ticks all those boxes.”

Launching the Crowdcube fundraise, Rescape Innovation CEO Matt Wordley said:

“This is the latest push in our aim to become the leading global provider of immersive technology solutions, including VR, in healthcare and associated marketplaces. It gives anyone the opportunity to have a stake in this innovative technology for as little as £11.76, which, apart from being a great investment in a growing company, gives people the warm feeling they are providing proven benefits to patients, staff and reducing costs in the NHS. We already have interest from over 10 hospitals and trusts across the UK in the next scale-up of trials.”

Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube commented:

“Rescape joins a growing list of healthcare technology businesses that have successfully fundraised with Crowdcube since the Covid-19 pandemic started earlier this year. Rescape’s mission to use virtual reality to help reduce stress and anxiety for NHS employees and improve patient wellbeing has clearly inspired people to invest in the innovative business, which is now overfunding.”

Dr Michelle Smalley is a Clinical Psychologist working in Intensive Care Units in Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles Hospitals in Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

Dr. Smalley said:

“Roles radically changed on March 13, with a dramatic increase in stress and anxiety amongst frontline medical and nursing teams for both themselves and their loved ones. My role pivoted to focus on staff wellbeing and support, and trying to limit burn out, so we worked with Rescape to bring in DR.VR™ headsets to see if it would prove a useful aid in reducing anxiety, and give the medical teams some much needed relief.

“Being a clinical psychologist in unprecedented times has called for unprecedented measures to help support staff. From the moment I tried these headsets out myself, I realised their potential for helping with anxiety and stress, but we have to be evidence based in our approach.”

The DR.VR™ Frontline Relief evaluation is available on the new FutureVision.Health web platform, a portal set up to promote the benefits of immersive technologies in healthcare. The main results from the evaluation suggest that staff found using VR was an enjoyable experience, and they would recommend use to their colleagues to aid relaxation and for reducing stress. In particular, staff valued the meditative spaces and breathing exercises.

The evaluation is available on http://futurevision.health/research/