Co-founder and CEO, Sword Health
Virgílio Bento co-founded Sword Health after his brother was in a car crash that put him in a coma for year. Following Bento's brother's release from the hospital, Bento witnessed him struggling to access the care he needed.
“In spite of the amazing innovation we’ve seen with technology … when it comes to how we treat pain, the world has been doing the same things for the last two centuries,” Bento said.
Bento said his team spent four years in the lab developing Sword's algorithms before launching its first AI-enabled program in 2020. Sword uses AI and motion-tracking technology, in partnership with in-house clinicians, to provide virtual physical therapy programs to patients. The company, headquartered in New York City, aims to treat pain, pelvic health conditions, and sedentariness, Bento said. His brother has made use of Sword’s services—as has his mother as she recovered from a hip replacement.
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Sword has raised more than $300 million from well-known venture capital firms, including Founders Fund, General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures, and received a $2 billion valuation in November 2021. In 2023, the company’s members, who tend to access services through their employer, completed more than 15 million minutes of AI therapy across 1.5 million sessions, Bento said.
The next step is going public, Bento said.
“Given our strong growth and the convergence toward profitability, an IPO is ... likely to happen in the near future. But we see that as just another milestone in our journey,” Bento said.