Portfolio company Sonnest closes its oversubscribed series A

Sonnest Has Received over $4M in the Series A Financing to Fund the Initial Evaluation of Electrast™ – the Company’s Voltage Activated Ultrasound Imaging Drug

Sonnest, Inc., a pre-clinical healthcare company developing Electrast™, a voltage-activated ultrasound imaging drug for myocardial perfusion imaging, announced today that the company has raised more than $4M in an oversubscribed Series A financing. The round was led by the SWAN Impact Network, Robin Hood Ventures and the Texas Halo Fund and included a number of doctors, and prominent angel investors. The funds will be used to advance Electrast™ into the clinic, confirm the safety profile of the drug and generate proof-of-principle ultrasound images in human patients similar to the videos created to date in pigs and dogs.

“We are very pleased with the results of our Series A financing because it gives Sonnest the resources the company needs to expand our team, complete GMP manufacturing and advance our innovative product from the animal lab into human patients,” said Peter Boyd, CEO of Sonnest and a serial healthcare entrepreneur who sold his last company to Edwards Lifesciences for $100M upfront and up to $150M in milestone payments. “2020 was a challenging year for everyone but our team continued to advance the development of Electrast™ and I think a lot of investors were excited to participate because they saw how the team performed in the face of significant headwinds.”

Bob Bridge, Executive Director of SWAN Impact Network, said “SWAN is a group of impact investors, and we began evaluating Sonnest in the summer of 2020 based on an introduction by a physician in our network. We were impressed by Sonnest’s cross-functional team of doctors, scientists and business executives, the innovative nature of the company’s technology and what the team was able to accomplish during the pandemic. We were excited to lead the Series A round because we believe that Electrast™ has the potential to cost-effectively improve the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with cardiovascular disease while also lowering risk to the patient by leveraging the power of ultrasound technology.”

VeMiDoc joins the SWAN Portfolio

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to have VeMiDoc join its portfolio of social impact companies.

VeMiDoc provides a compelling bilingual telemedicine mobile app allowing health providers to remotely monitor patients via regular virtual check-ins and other health management tools. Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) incur high and disproportionate costs associated with poor disease management and poor health outcomes in Latino and other medically underserved communities. The VeMiDoc app, which in Spanish represents “see my doctor”, was conceived by Latino physicians and was developed to improve medical outcomes over time, reducing patient healthcare costs for MCOs and allowing them to better allocate resources to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Harmonic Bionics has closed another round

Harmonic Bionics is redefining neurorehabilitation with intelligent robotic technology designed to maximize patient recovery. The company just closed a $7M preferred stock round.

The company first applied to the SWAN Impact Network in early 2019, and at that time our network felt that the company was not yet ready for their initial funding. And as is our standard practice, SWAN gave the CEO feedback on their application, sharing what we believed to be their strengths and also identifying our concerns. Harmonic Bionics reapplied later in 2019, with a plan that addressed our concerns and SWAN was a major participant in their initial financing, a convertible debt round.

Many of SWAN’s portfolio companies have applied more than once to SWAN and upon reapplication have been funded by our network. Our goal is to be helpful to company applicants who are trying to help the world, and let them know what can make them fundable.

Based upon the conversion of our note in the latest funding round, the valuation of our holding has increased by a factor of 1.9.

Demystifying Impact Investing

SWAN Impact Network leadership participated in a panel which discussed “How do investors define Impact?” and the various sources of funding for impact start-up companies, including angel networks, investment funds and Donor Advised Funds.

The panel was co-hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship.

You may watch the panel discussion here.

A follow-on investment in ClearFlame Engine Technologies

The SWAN Impact Network made a seed investment in ClearFlame Engine Technologies early in 2020, and is pleased to now announce a follow-on investment one year later.

ClearFlame is taking the diesel fuel out of the diesel engine for heavy-duty industries. Their disruptive, patented engine technology maintains all the rugged performance and practicality of traditional diesel engines that end users expect while completely replacing petroleum-based diesel fuel with decarbonized liquid fuels—nearly eliminating all criteria pollutants and emissions.

ClearFlame offers a rapid pathway to widespread emissions reduction for heavy-duty industries by leveraging existing production capacity and infrastructures. Moreover, our technology lowers costs—for both OEMs and end users—by eliminating the need for complex aftertreatment technologies.

The heavy-duty engine industry is approaching a time when the continued pressure to reduce CO2 and diesel criteria pollutants (NOx and particulates) is leading to the elimination of diesel-fueled engines. It’s why heavy-duty engine manufacturers, fleet owners, end users, and regulators are aggressively seeking viable alternative technologies. ClearFlame is the future of diesel engine technology.

SWAN has invested in Advanced Ionics

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce an investment in Advanced Ionics. Advanced Ionics   is providing Clean Hydrogen for Heavy Industry, designing a new generation of electrolyzers specifically for industrial users, such as ammonia/fertilizer production, hydrogenation, metal fabrication, glass, methanol, synthetic fuels/chemicals, and power plants, among others. They replace existing  hydrogen manufacturing with a more affordable, cleaner alternative.

SWAN had a strong first quarter


Covid social distancing has continued to keep the SWAN Impact Network virtual. We look forward later this year to resuming in-person meetings. But distancing has not slowed SWAN down.

In the first quarter of 2021, SWAN’s angel membership grew by 50%. Our new members joined us from Austin, Dallas, Houston and New Mexico.

And our first quarter investment dollars equaled the total amount of investments made in 2020.

SWAN remains a national leader in social and environmental impact angel investing, with members and investments from across the US.

Announcing an Investment in Sonnest

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce that it led an investment in Sonnest. Sonnest is transforming cardiac ultrasound. Their Electrast™ is the first electrically sensitive imaging agent for assessing and monitoring the perfusion, structure, and function of the heart, allowing low cost ultrasound procedures to provide information only previously available from much higher cost scans.  Electrast™ is a contrast agent that activates with ultrasound and the heart’s local electric field if the heart tissue is perfused and viable. Sonnest allows Doctors to:

  • Analyze better data, faster. Cardiac perfusion data in point of care setting.
  • Diagnose- No cath lab needed. Most cost-effective diagnosis without harmful radiation.
  • Respond – Triage and treat. Improve patient care and outcomes confidently.
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