Despite being a quintessential laboratory tool used by a majority of academic centers, hospitals, and life science companies, conventional microscopes have a number of known issues. They are clunky, high maintenance, uncomfortable, poor for collaboration, and have been subject to painfully incremental innovation for decades. Further, they exist in two distinct configurations, upright and inverted, necessitating >70% of labs to own both.
The Echo Solution & Vision
Echo is striving to modernize the microscope. The company’s first product, Revolve, is the world’s first hybrid microscope, addressing both upright and inverted device types in a single stand.
Fit for the digital age, standard eyepieces have been replaced with an iPad tablet and the microscope’s user-friendly software and cloud integration makes it easy for scientists to view, capture, and share images. When comparing the Revolve to traditional devices, the difference is night and day. See for yourself in this demo video.
Echo is helping to facilitate the future of biological research and healthcare innovation, enhancing cutting edge R&D efforts as well as the inspiration and education of future generations. Echo's REVOLVE targets users who need to visualize and acquire images of living or fixed cells, with minimal automation requirements and basic software needs. This market segment values a minimal footprint, ease of use, rapid workflow, and simple data analysis, archiving, and sharing, all of which the Revolve offers in spades. The end result for laboratories is equipment cost savings of 50% and an 8x improvement in productivity for researchers.
Revolve has won numerous awards, including Tech Coast Angels' 2016 "Quick Pitch" competition, CONNECT’s 2016 “Most Innovative New Product” award in the Life Science Research and Diagnostics category (previous winners include: Life Tech, Illumina), and has been featured in the New York Times, Nature, Protolabs, Photonics, at TedxSanDiego, and on NBC and the set of Ridley Scott’s newest Alien film, ‘Covenant’.
Launched in 2019, Rebel is Echo's second product and comes in at a lower price point than the Revolve ($6,250 vs. $33,000). Orders for the Rebel quickly outpaced company expectations having received orders for ~500 units YTD (2019) and generating $3M in sales to-date.
Echo has demonstrated product/market fit, as evidenced by their sales and high quality and growing customer base. Customers are being drawn to the Revolve and Rebel's compelling value proposition and contrast to existing offerings.
Key Company Milestones:
Research & Development
Echo is currently developing and anticipates launching two additional products: HYPERSCOPE (Q2 2020) + REVOLUTION (Q3 2020)
REVOLUTION: Automated microscope for advanced applications. Includes: time-lapse, stitching, and well plate screening. This expands the capabilities and reach of Echo's portfolio and enables them to compete for higher end opportunities. MSRP: $60-$70k. Launch date: Q3 2020
According to a recent market report by Grand View Research in April 2019, the global microscope market was valued at USD $8.22 billion in 2018. Echo's target market segment (Optical microscopes) accounted for $2.7B of the overall market.
By 2026 the overall global market is expected to reach $15.1B (Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.9%). North America and Asia-Pacific represent the largest regional market and fastest growing regional market (projected 9.1% CAGR) respectively. According to the report, High Definition (HD), 3-Dimensional (3D) views, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in microscopy will all continue to have a high impact on market dynamics. Echo’s R&D remains at the forefront of these emerging software technologies.
Currently, REVOLVE and REBEL offer paid upgrade software features (3-D Z-stack and automated cell counting). These software modules are remotely deployed and unlocked, and we will leverage the ability to unlock software modules to enter the above market sectors with both new and existing customers.
Liquidity Events for Comparable Companies
Eugene is an industry thought leader with 10+ years leading an award-winning sales team at Nikon Instruments. During his time at Nikon, Eugene was a 3x recipient of the prestigious National Salesman of the Year and broke the company’s annual national sales record.
Jeff has established himself as an industry leading sales executive, previously multiplying AMG's sales revenue 12x in 2 years, paving the way for the company's acquisition by large industry player Life Technologies. While at Life, Jeff continued to grow the team's North American revenue two-fold to $20M, leading to the company's acquisition by industry giant Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Andy brings to the company 15+ years of engineering design, manufacturing, and commercialization experience. Andy was previously a Partner and employee #1 at D&K Engineering, where he led R&D and manufacturing for all US and overseas operations and helped to grow the company to over 600 employees.
Stephan is a seasoned sales and operations professional. Stephan spent 29 years with A.G. Henize, most recently serving as the company’s VP of Operations. At the time, A.G. Heinze was the largest Nikon distributor in the US and was acquired by Nikon in 2007, a process overseen by Stephan.
“ECHO raises $7.5M for its hybrid microscope” (VentureBeat, 2017)
“Ep3: Eugene Cho (Echo Laboratories) The Revolutionary Microscope” (Startup Talk with Millard & Andrew, 2017). An interview with CEO Eugene Cho on an entrepreneurship-dedicated podcast.
“Tech Coast Angels Leads $2M Funding of Echo Labs” (Crowdfund Insider, 2016)
“2016 Winner: CONNECT Most Innovative New Product, Life Science Diagnostics and Research” (CONNECT, 2016). ECHO was 1 of 10 recipients of this 29th annual award across ten categories selected from a pool of 111 nominations.
“Echo Labs Wins “Quick Pitch” Contest with Digital Hybrid Microscope” (Xconomy, 2016). ECHO placed 1st in a 10th annual business plan pitch competition hosted by Tech Coast Angels out of 140 applicants. Tech Coast Angels followed this award with a seed investment shortly after.
“Hybrid Microscope Wins Proto Labs’ Cool Idea! Award” (StreetInsider, 2015)
The company’s core technology is protected by a strong IP foundation:
New Customer Referrals. If you know of a researcher, lab, educator, or system that could potentially benefit from a next-generation Echo microscopes, the company welcomes introductions.
Introductions to Life Science Research Tool Distributors. Echo is continually seeking ways to get its microscopes to the world. If you know of a potential partner that can accelerate that effort, let’s connect them.
Team Echo Evangelists. Echo is revolutionizing microscopy, help spread the word! Follow the company here and on social media, share the beautiful images taken in the field, and follow its journey!