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SWORD Health is the new unicorn with Portuguese DNA

SWORD Health is the new unicorn with Portuguese DNA
Dinheiro Vivo · 23 Nov 2021
The company led by Virgílio Bento obtained 189 million dollars (167.5 million euros) in a Series D funding and is now valued at two billion dollars. The company will hire 300 people in the next few months.

SWORD Health is the latest company with Portuguese DNA to achieve unicorn status. The company that developed a digital physical therapy system is now valued at over a billion dollars after closing a Series D investment round of 189 million dollars (167.5 million euros). The transaction was announced on Monday.

The capital injection was led by venture capital firm Sapphire Ventures and also counted with the entry of new entities such as Sozo Ventures, Willoughby Capital, ADQ and LocalGlobe. Older investors such as General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, Bond, Transformation Capital and Green Innovations were also part of the operation.

This was SWORD Health's third investment round in 2021: in June, it had raised $85 million in Series C; in February, it had raised $25 million in Series B.

The company is registered in the United States but has technological headquarters in Porto. The company also has two offices in the United States, in New York and Salt Lake City. In total, the company has over 250 employees, a threefold increase in staff compared to 2020.

With the new investment, SWORD Health will hire 300 additional workers over the next few months.

"It has been truly gratifying to see the impact SWORD is having on thousands of people around the world. With this new round of funding, we will accelerate the creation of value for our customers as we continue to build the leading digital solution for treating musculoskeletal conditions in the healthcare world, available anywhere and for everyone," said Virgílio Bento, in a press release.

Musculoskeletal diseases affect one in three people worldwide (two billion people) and the system born in Portugal registers clinical results "superior to those of a human physiotherapist," argues the platform.

These diseases are considered the leading cause of disability, being directly related to other health conditions, such as depression and other chronic diseases.

The solution has already won over 150 companies as clients, 12 times more than a year ago.

Personal Story

SWORD was created after a "traumatic personal experience" in the family of its founder.

In 1994, Virgílio Bento's brother was run over by a car on a crosswalk on his way home from school, suffering multiple serious injuries and that threw him into a coma that lasted twelve months. After three years of continuous treatment, it was necessary to go to the best rehabilitation center in Cuba where each patient had a fully dedicated physical therapist.

It was during this particular period that Virgílio Bento realized that the much-needed intensive rehabilitation is totally dependent on human resources and therefore not scalable, and that part of the solution to this problem would be in technology.

Focusing on finding this solution, he decided to study Electronic Engineering and, in 2008, did his PhD focusing on technology as a disruptive tool for traditional rehabilitation practices.

SWORD Health was founded in 2015 and has since raised over $320 million in private investment rounds.

The company joins the restricted 'club' of technologies, which includes six representatives with Portuguese DNA: Farfetch, OutSystems, Talkdesk, Feedzai (the only one registered in Portugal), Remote and, since this Monday, SWORD Health.