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European Innovation Council
Story 16 December 2021

Stories: SWORD Health is the latest EIC-funded Unicorn after closing Series D funding round

Mariana Marques

SWORD Health, a healthtech company that provides virtual musculoskeletal (MSK) care services, has announced the closing of a Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures. The transactions amounted to ~ €283 million, with the current round valued at around €1.6 billion, giving the company their current unicorn status. With this achievement, the company also became the EIC’s third ‘Unicorn’. 


The growth of the Portuguese EIC-funded company is remarkable, with a 20x valuation growth in 12 months and a 12x client growth. The round will enable SWORD to accelerate its mission to deliver more personalized MSK based offerings, from prevention to post-surgical care, while remaining at the forefront of value based digital MSK care and expanding local and global operations among self-insured employers, health plans and other entities.


Looking for a differentiated approach to treat MSK disorders is the objective of SWORD Health. The company offers personalised care that proves to be more effective and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care, being validated by third parties to deliver the best clinical results. Since launching in 2015, SWORD Health has worked with insurers, health systems, and employers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia to make high quality musculoskeletal care accessible to everyone.


The idea for the creation of SWORD’s technology came from Virgilio Bento, company’s founder and CEO, and his own life experience, as he explained: “I started SWORD after a traumatic personal experience where I saw first-hand the challenges that families face when they have to recover a loved one.”. Now, Virgilio is happy to see the impact his technology has around the world and the improvements that will be possible thanks to their latest funding round: “It’s been truly humbling to see the impact SWORD is having on thousands of members across the globe. With this new funding, we will accelerate our value creation for members, self-insured employers and health plans, as we continue to build the flagship digital MSK solution in the healthcare world, everywhere and for everyone.”.


SWORD Health received a Phase 2 grant from the European Innovation Council to create a digital therapist that enables an integrated exercise programme, via a mobile device, using body sensors and machine learning algorithms to monitor progress and give real time feedback to patients and clinical teams. 


DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interest of knowledge sharing and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.

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