Vicis lands $15M to boost production of high-tech football helmets and expand beyond gridiron

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The Vicis ZERO1 helmet. (Vicis Image)

Vicis, the Seattle-based company known for high-tech helmets used in the NFL, NCAA, high school and youth football, has raised an additional $15 million, bringing its total funding to $70 million in its quest to reduce the risk of head injuries from the gridiron to the battlefield.

The new investment was led by investors including former NFL quarterback Roger Staubach; media, auto and sports magnate Red McCombs and Cincinnati Reds minority owner Harry Fath, according to a company representative.

Vicis confirmed the new funding round Thursday afternoon after GeekWire spotted an updated regulatory filing from the company. The filing gives a larger amount, which includes previous funds raised. The company said $15 million of the funds are a new Series B round.

“We will use this new funding to scale the business,” Vicis CEO Dave Marver said via email. “We were overwhelmed with orders for the ZERO1 this season and need to increase production capacity to meet demand going forward. We will also use the capital to continue our work to develop improved helmet technology for the US military. Lastly, we will use the capital to enter other sports and categories.”

Vicis CEO Dave Marver. (Photo via Vicis)

The $950 ZERO1 helmet is engineered with multiple, specialized layers designed to mitigate impacts believed to cause concussions. The company’s website says current orders may be delayed until Sept. 30 because of high demand.

Earlier this year, Vicis said it had received orders from all 32 NFL teams, more than 90 NCAA programs, and more than 500 high schools. Its ZERO1 helmet was one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2017 and placed first in the NFL’s recent helmet safety test.

Vicis spun out of the University of Washington in 2014. The company announced a contract with the U.S. military in May to improve the safety of Army and Marine Corps combat helmets, part of a larger effort to expand into new verticals.

Existing investors include Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson; prominent spine and neurological surgeons; angelMD; W Fund; Alliance of Angels; and Trilogy Equity Partners. The company was a finalist for the Hardware of the Year category at this year’s GeekWire Awards.



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