Vicis continues to raise more cash as the Seattle startup revs up production of its high-tech football helmet.
The company announced today that it has reeled in an additional $1.2 million as part of a convertible note. It previously raised $4 million as part of the same note in January. Total funding for the 4-year-old company is now nearly $30 million; investors range from former NFL players and top biotech veterans, among others.
As GeekWire reported earlier this month, Vicis is preparing to equip NFL and NCAA football teams with its $1,500 ZERO1 helmet this fall. The helmet features a unique outer shell material designed to mitigate the forces thought to cause concussions. Those teams are also using the helmet during spring practices and offseason activities.
Vicis spun out of the University of Washington in 2014. CEO Dave Marver founded the company with CTO Per Reinhall, chairman of the UW Mechanical Engineering Department, Chief Medical Officer Samuel Browd, and UW Associate Engineering Professor Jonathan Posner.
“As we’ve shown more progress, de-risked the company, and moved closer toward commercialization, we’ve required more capital and have attracted larger and more sophisticated investors,” Marver told GeekWire. “But throughout, there’s been a consistent thread of investor support from the medical and football community.”
Marver added that the company’s investors are also “very keen to help kids who play contact sports.” For now, Vicis is focused on NFL and NCAA teams, but it also plans to provide youth leagues with its helmet within the next two years. In addition, the company has other active projects for areas outside of football.
Vicis now employs 50 people and recently opened up a production facility in Seattle. The company has also received certification from The Safety Equipment Institute, which noted that Vicis’ helmet meets the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) performance standard for football helmets.