The Munich-based start-up Munevo participated in numerous EIT Health programmes in the past, including most recently being a finalist in the EIT Health European Health Catapult. Now they have received over 1 million euros on their crowdfunding campaign on Aescuvest, in combination with a number of investors.
In Germany, around 1.56 million people are dependent on wheelchairs, and thousands of them are paralysed from the neck down. With munevo DRIVE – a globally unique smartglass solution that enables electric wheelchairs to be controlled by head movement – the company Munevo gives those dependent on wheelchairs the freedom to participate in social life in a pleasant and self-determined way. “It makes us happy to hear from those affected that munevo DRIVE can give them back a piece of their independence and mobility,” says Claudiu Leverenz, Cofounder of Munevo.
In 2018, the same year of its founding, munevo DRIVE was approved as a medical device. This led to its reimbursement by many health insurance companies in Germany and Europe. The solution, which is compatible with almost every electric wheelchair on the market works in the following way: sensor technology built into smartglasses allows head movements to be translated into control signals, which are then transmitted to the control unit of the wheelchair via an adapter. All of this occurs via Bluetooth in interaction with the munevo app.
Currently, Munevo has plans for internationalisation within the EU, followed by the USA. Moreover, the team will be expanded to develop new features of the application faster and to increase quality assurance. In order to be able to tackle these goals, the company conducted public financing on the investment platform Aescuvest, specialising in healthcare start-ups. Through the involvement of the Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (BayBG) and several business angels, Munevo received a total of more than 1 million euros.
Munevo evolved from a multidisciplinary team of students at the Chair of Business Informatics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), with the smartglasses initially intended for use in the mobility sector. With these rapid developments, Munevo surely has a lot in store for us. “The use of Bluetooth allows us to access other devices as well so that in the future, people with total body paralysis will also be able to control smartphones, robotic arms or smart home systems,” adds co-founder Claudiu Leverenz.