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Local medical device start-up raises funds to sell its hand-held transfusion device in Africa

Sisu Global, a Baltimore-based start-up that develops medical technologies for developing nations, said it has raised the money to launch its first product, a low-cost transfusion device.

The Hemafuse is a handheld, electricity-free auto-transfusion device that allows clinicians to reuse patients’ own blood when they are hemorrhaging. Company leaders saw a need for such devices in hospitals, rural areas and conflict zones, where standard equipment is too expensive or unusable. It will begin sales in Africa.

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The Abell Foundation has invested $200,000 in Sisu Global Health, a Baltimore-based company that's developing medical devices for doctors in the developing world.

Sisu reports that $3 billion is being spent annually on blood in Africa but that’s only half of what is needed.

The company raised $1.2 million in a convertible note round, bringing the total raised by Sisu to $3.1 million. The investors in this round include Camden Partners; Belle Michigan and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, which is led by AOL co-founder Steve Case. All invested previously.

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New investors include the Women’s Angel Investor Network of Dubai, Kent & Russell Croft and Chuck Clarvit, a Johns Hopkins University trustee.

On a visit to a clinic in rural India, Carolyn Yarina saw a need for a simple medical device that is now a project of her company, Sisu Global Health.

“It’s great to have the support such top-level investing talent who have provided so much beyond capital, giving us great advice and insights, especially as we launch Hemafuse in Africa” said Carolyn Yarina, Sisu Global’s co-founder and CEO.

The company is developing several other technologies for emerging markets. Company officials cited a report from market researcher Frost and Sullivan that found in 2014 the medical device market in Africa was valued at $3.9 billion but could reach $16 billion in 2020.

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