By Nancy Dahlberg
Last month, Refresh Miami reported that Memic Innovative Surgery, a medical device company based in Fort Lauderdale and Tel Aviv that is chaired by Miami serial entrepreneur Maurice R. Ferré, closed a $96 million Series D financing round, led by Ceros Financial Services and Peregrine Ventures. Turns out there is more to that story. This week, Ceros’ CEO announced he has moved from New York to Miami Beach and will base the Ceros Capital Markets subsidiary in Miami.
There's more: CEO Mark Goldwasser told the South Florida Business Journal that Ceros plans over the next year to invest more than $100 million in emerging medtech ventures, with a focus on the tri-county region. While that’s a big bet, he said he believes South Florida is one of the emerging medical technology centers of the world.
Turns out, Goldwasser has also been betting on medtech in South Florida for a while now.
In the early 2000s, Goldwasser and a partner launched early stage fund Robotic Ventures, an early investor in Mako Surgical, the Broward-based surgical robotics company led by Ferré. Mako sold to Stryker Corp. for $1.65 billion in 2013. It was an exit that helped catalyze new medtech startups like Neocis, Orthosensor and DermaSensor, as well as Magic Leap.
“South Florida has the geography and demographics to be the next medtech hub,” Ferré said in a statement, echoing comments he has made during recent speaking events. Ferré, one of the region's most innovative medtech serial entrepreneurs, has been a big proponent of the region's potential, and momentum has been building.
Indeed, medtech/life sciences has been South Florida’s most active sector for venture capital for the past three years, according to my reporting in the eMerge Americas Insights Reports. Its one of the clusters of promise and impact for South Florida economic development, as accessible, affordable healthcare is out of reach of many. Miami already has the second largest health district in the U.S., South Florida’s universities and colleges have a growing number of programs and degree curriculums serving the industry, and the diverse population base along with the number of senior citizens who call South Florida home make for a compelling place to test and roll out new solutions.
Goldwasser told the Business Journal that Ceros has already completed about $65 million in transactions over the past 14 months. It has invested in Ferre’s company Insightec, an innovator in incisionless brain surgeries, Dania Beach-based surgical device company Orthosensor, which was sold to Stryker in January, and DermaSensor, a Miami startup that is bringing an early skin cancer detection device to market.
Ceros is seeking an office location for its Miami HQ, and Goldwasser has said he already has other South Florida medtech investment prospects bubbling up. Stay tuned.
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