This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Robotics Maker Ekso Aims to Help Wheelchair-Bound to Walk


Currently there are 40 suits in use, with 34 in rehab centers and six in use by individuals. The company has a back-log of 18 suits on order with a 10-week time line for delivery, Scheder-Bieschin said. Each suit delivered also requires a week of training by Ekso personnel with rehab staff.

While the company is mainly focused on rehabilitation, its partnership with Lockheed could provide a secondary market.

"The military market represents an upside for our investors," said Harding. "We continue to work with Lockheed and eventually they will be responsible for the military market, which is what they do well. We will see a 4% to 6% royalty from that."

Ekso had sought venture capital financing for its product's development but its story didn't translate well, Scheder-Bieschin said.

"To begin with, we are hardware, not software, so they were uncomfortable with that," he said. "We were also looked at as a medical device, which scared a lot of people. And the nature of venture capital was hard in that even if one of the partners likes what you are doing, he still needs to convince everybody else to invest."

More receptive investors included Opaleye and Montrose Capital Partners. The two firms were the lead investors in the private placement that Ekso issued with its reverse merger. Opaleye, based in Cambridge, Mass., mainly invests in biotech and medical devices. InspireMD and Retrophin are also in its portfolio. Montrose is a private equity fund.

One of the largest shareholders in Ekso is Chickasaw Nation Industries, a Norman-Okla.-based holding company that represents the interests of the Chickasaw Indian tribe. It controls 15.6% of the company. According to Scheder-Bieschin, the tribe has invested $10 million into Ekso.

Opaleye founder Jim Silverman says he expects Ekso to become a product that rehabilitation providers will need.

"My view is over time any rehabilitation facility helping paraplegics is going to have to get Ekso devices to remain competitive," he said. "Patients will demand it or move to facilities that do have Eksos.

"Other low hanging fruit may be for any disease with lower-extremity weakness such as post-stroke, MS, ALS, et cetera, and of course, at-home use for those able to afford it.

"You want to invest in the leaders of an industry and for robotic exoskeletons, Ekso is it."

Cofounders Harding and Angold each hold 5.3% of the company.

After the $20.6 million in private placement financing that Ekso raised with its reverse merger, the company is now debt-free, according to Scheder-Bieschin.

"We used $2.5 million to pay off debt to investors," he said. "We have very few receivables and our cash is in good shape."

3 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
EKSO $1.97 0.00%
LMT $194.82 0.00%
AAPL $124.75 0.00%
FB $80.78 0.00%
GOOG $524.05 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs