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September 21, 2021

Adam Sachs, an MIT grad and alum of the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, officially launched Vicarious in 2014 with his college buddy, Sammy Khalifa, now the company’s chief technology officer, and Dr. Barry Greene. Their goal: To make abdominal surgery faster, easier and subject to fewer complications, starting with hernia repairs.

The surgical robotics market has been dominated by Intuitive Surgical, which introduced its Da Vinci robots two decades ago, and now sports a market cap of $123 billion. As Intuitive’s patents expire and robotic technology advances, competitors including J&J and Medtronic, both of which have acquired surgical-robot startups, are vying to make robotic surgery as common as laparoscopy. Vicarious, which has received funding from Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla, Eric Schmidt and Jerry Yang, has a different approach, with a miniature robot that enters a patient’s belly through a single incision and can efficiently move in all directions, thanks to nine actuators.

Earlier this year, Vicarious agreed to merge with a SPAC set up by Hong Kong investor Donald Tang in a $1.1 billion deal. With the deal, it will have around $220 million that it intends to use for final stages of product development and FDA clearance. The company has told investors that it hopes its robots will be on the market in 2023, and that it expects to reach $1 billion in annual revenue by 2027.

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