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CMR Surgical: When Robotics Meet Minimally Invasive Surgery


The lack of robotic systems is taking its toll in modern medicine. Despite hospitals' best efforts, even the simplest of surgeries continue to leave patients with lasting scars. Implementing minimal access surgery in medicine is obviously a dream come true - a solution that will ultimately provide patients with smaller incisions, reduced pain and recovery time, and little to no scars.

How many men does it take to find the key to the growing issue? In this case, five.

Driven by personal reasons, their will to contribute, and their prior experiences, Martin Frost, Keith Marshall, Mark Slack, Luke Hares, and Paul Roberts presented the world with a unique robotic surgical revolution - CMR Surgical!

Instead of just selling their service, the platform partners up with hospitals to offer a refined minimal surgery system, known as Versius, through implementing revolutionary AI solutions for countless surgeons and patients in need of minimally invasive procedures.

Achieving greatness with a friendly and collaborative touch, here's the story of how five men worked together to create a transformative medical platform bound to changes the face of surgery!


Martin Frost, one of the co-founders of CMR Surgical, studied in the Manchester Grammar School and later attended the University of Cambridge, where he acquired both his degree and vast professional experience. In 1985, Martin began his journey as an Audit Senior.

It wasn't long before Martin was noticed by various prominent companies, where he sought to expand his professional skills. In 2005, Martin became the Director of Chord Capital. Later, he served as the CEO of Sagentia and a co-founder of RedCloud Technology Limited. Finally, in 2014, Martin took the role as a CMR Surgical founder, one of five, and became the company's CEO!

The Engineering Director

Keith Marshall, on the other hand, graduated in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire. As a result, his bachelor's degree assisted him in landing a job with Nokia.

He later continued his career at Xerox, Flightlink, and Sagentia. Currently, Keith serves as one of the co-founders of CMR Surgical and takes the role of the company's lead Engineering Director.

The Technology Director

In 1977, Luke Hares graduated from the University of Cambridge. Before becoming co-founder and Technology Director at CMR Surgical, Luke was a product designer for various US and UK companies, where he mostly worked on developing medical devices and related robotics.

When it comes to vision and tech strategy for CMR Surgical, Luke is the mastermind in the making and is in charge of generating groundbreaking ideas and developing smooth yet complex medical systems.

Chief Customer Success Officer

With a decade worth of experience in system development, Paul Roberts graduated from the University of Cambridge and worked as Head of Embedded Systems at Sagentia before becoming a co-founder at CMR Surgical, where he presently serves as the Chief Customer Success Officer.

Chief Medical Officer

Last but not least is Mark Slack, the man packed on the vastest medical background out of all five co-founders and serves as CMR Surgical's Chief Medical Officer. Mark graduated from the College of Medicine of South Africa, a career path that led his way to create CMR Surgical along with his peers.

Once students now medical giants, the Big Five would cross paths down the line and come together to develop one of the most sophisticated medical systems of today, and CRM Surgical's greatest ally - the Versius Robotic System!

The Versius Robotic System is Born

Following their beliefs that robotic systems can dramatically change the way hospitals and surgeons operate, the Five came up with the idea of creating one themselves. But, developing a refined system that would do the job seamlessly was not as simple.

To create a robotic system that will assist surgeons to perfection, the inventors had to make the concept completely maneuverable, reliable, and multi-purposeful to millions of patients around the globe. The new robotic system also had to be cost-effective, so that hospitals would be encouraged to rely on it, trust it, and ultimately, want to use it. With these aspirations in mind as well as the excessive experience in surgeries, medical devices, and commercialization, the five creators introduced The Versius system to the world!

Versius is nothing similar to any robotic systems seen before. Its precision and flexibility are considered a great advantage by a plethora of surgeons across the world. The Versius doesn't require surgeons to spend countless hours learning the basics, and when it comes to surgery, it enjoys a minimal window of opportunity in erring.

Moreover, it allows surgeons better precision and prolonged surgery time and demands taking no major breaks whilst using it, courtesy of its effortlessness and usability.

Surprisingly, the public feedback on the Versius has remained generously positive ever since its launch. Surgeons had no problem using the system, especially given its simple and intuitive layout. They even admitted how impactful and beneficial the Versius was in modern medicine, as well as the potential it had to grow even bigger, better, and bolder!

The Rise of CMR Surgical

With a billion-dollar market to take over and groundbreaking innovations and strategies to put to practice, it was only a matter of time before CMR attracted its top investors!

The company's lead investor is Cambridge Innovation Capital, which has remained with the company since its launch. CIC has made CMR their top investor target, and they are confident that when Versius becomes commercially accepted, the income will roll in on its own. The company's first investment round took place in 2016, with $20.3 million raised by multiple investors. The second fundraiser was held in 2017, surpassing the first one and bringing $26 million to the company.

It wasn't until 2018 when the third fundraiser happened that companies started taking notice of CMR Surgical's value. As a result, more investors joined in to sponsor the company, and a whopping $100 million were raised in turn, all to assist in further development of the intelligent Versius Robotic System.

That same year, CMR Surgical was listed as the sixth fastest-growing business in the UK. Up until this point, the company had offices in four continents, counting over 400 employees.

By the time 2019 arrived, the company announced 30 successful surgeries on humans as part of a clinical trial, which was a massive leap forward given this was the first human surgery performed with the newly introduced Versius Robotic System.

The fourth round of fundraising did not disappoint as well. In September 2019, CMR Surgical raised $243 million, Europe's record-breaking number in private fundraising for medical tech platforms!

Total Funding & Investors

The company managed to raise $384.8 million in 4 rounds and is present all around the world! One of the first countries outside the UK to start implementing their Versius Robotic System was India. Later, the US and China started participating as investors as well.

CMR Surgical has 7 investors: Zhejiang Silk Road Fund, Escala Capital, Cambridge Innovation Capital, LGT Group, Watrium AS, and Vestland Invest.

CMR Surgical's headquarters are in Cambridge, UK. The market valuation is well over $1 billion! Having offices on 4 continents and employing around 500 people, investors are ought to keep a close eye on this one!

CMR Surgical Today

CMR Surgical is currently regarded as one of the top medical technology companies in existence, with Versius propelling it to reach dizzying highs of medical achievement.

Constantly cutting new deals and incorporating their Robotic System in hospitals, CMR Surgical's team members are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The current CEO of the company is Per Vegard Nerseth, as Martin Frost decided to step down after leading the company for six years.

The Versius Robotic System has some serious competition out there, but both the team and the investors believe that its unique technology will soon prevail.

Who would have thought that such an unusual team of five regular men could create such a medical impact? Each one of them facing his own demons and challenges, they managed to overcome every single obstacle and reach the final destination: creating and equipping the Versius with all the ammunition needed to completely change how surgery is done!