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Welsh Virtual Reality Healthcare Start-up Secures £480k Investment

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A Welsh start-up that develops virtual reality technology for healthcare has secured a major investment.

A group of Wales-based angel investors and the Development Bank for Wales has closed an equity deal with Rescape Innovation worth £480,000 which will help the company invest in new technology, export and develop new products to support patient recovery and rehabilitation.

The deal has brought together ten high-profile investors from a range of sectors who all believe in the benefits of virtual reality and its capability to support patients and the healthcare system.

The deal was led by South Wales based investor Andrew Diplock, with support from Angels Invest Wales, part of the Development Back of Wales, Geldards and Capital Law. Andrew and the syndicate of investors secured match funding from the £8 million Wales Angel Co-investment Fund.

Andrew Diplock, Lead Investor said:

“The future is exciting for Rescape and with the new funding, the business will be able to make the right investment at the right time with innovative technology in the developing healthcare sector.

I was pleased to be able to introduce this South Wales based business to a group of leading and experienced businesspeople– they all agreed to back the exciting future development of this company. I focus my investment activity on high growth potential South Wales-based businesses. Rescape Innovation certainly fits the bill and I look forward to working with the management team in the years to come.”

It was thanks to the Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund that the Welsh business was given the early support it needed to establish its product in Wales.

Rescape Innovation, based in Cardiff, works to develop virtual reality products that help patients deal with pain, rehabilitation, stress and anxiety by distracting the brain. The distraction therapy technology allows the patient to be immersed in a different reality, helping the brain to reduce pain and ease the feelings of anxiety.

Recent studies demonstrate that the cost of adolescent pain is nearly £4billion per year, with up to 28 million people in Britain living with chronic pain according to recent estimations.

Up until now, cases are usually treated with a prescription of pain killers- putting strain on NHS budgets as well as on patients who rely on them.

Rescape aims to address not only the prescription and patient experience but also the longer-term health economic benefits of immersive technology.

Steve Holt, Director of Angels Invest Wales said:

“We are delighted to support the development of Rescape Innovation with match funding of £207,500 through the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. This fund is now successfully encouraging new angel syndicates to come together to invest in Welsh businesses.

The Rescape investment syndicate has brought ten angel investors together and collectively they’ll bring a wealth of experience to the development of the business.”

Using virtual reality, Rescape Innovation offers an affordable and safe treatment. The product has already been used in 31 healthcare institutions across the UK with a further 30 orders placed. With the recent business growth, the Welsh start-up is responding to global interest in the technology, including enquiries from Norway, Australia and South Africa.

Matt Wordley, Chief Executive of Rescape Innovation said:

“This investment opens up an exciting new chapter for Rescape and puts us in the best position to expand our product offering to offer patients support through proven techniques like distraction therapy.

There are so many factors in establishing a quality tech product but thanks to the support we’ve received from Andrew Diplock, the other angel investors and Development Bank of Wales, we’re not only leading VR innovation in Wales, but across the UK and the world.

We’re proud to have started our business here in Wales and with the brilliant talent, infrastructure and support system, we’re able to grow and develop our products here too.”

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