Picture caption: Nate Macabuag, Founder, Koalaa
London startup, Koalaa, whose ‘world-first’ soft prosthetics aid inclusivity and comfort for individuals with limb differences, has been named one of 25 ‘Startups to Watch’ by Bloomberg UK.
The inaugural listing recognises the UK’s most interesting and fastest growing companies, who are working on something truly unique. Koalaa was one of 25 startups to be chosen from more than 1,500+ entries, with the full cohort officially unveiled at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in London.
Each startup was benchmarked against key criteria including: the scope of the problem they're tackling, creativity of the idea, the traction they're getting with investors and customers, and their commitment to diversity.
Koalaa was founded in 2020 and is on a mission to address the three main issues faced by the global limb difference community today - access, affordability and comfort. Unlike traditional prosthetics, Koalaa prosthetics are made from fabric which is breathable and fits snugly against the arm. This means they are light, comfy and suitable for even very young children and can be sent around the world for a fraction of the cost.
Interchangeable tools, whose design is driven by user feedback and need, can be attached to the end of the sleeve and swapped in and out depending on the task the user would like to do. This means they can be used for an infinite number of activities. All users are also linked with a limb buddy who provides support every step of the way.
Koalaa’s prosthetics are now being used by children and adults with limb differences across the world, including in developing and war-torn regions, with the company having launched the world’s first early rehab prosthetic arm, which can be used just hours after surgery.
Nate Macabuag, founder of Koalaa, commented: “We’re both thrilled and humbled to have been chosen by Bloomberg UK as a startup to watch! All we have ever wanted to do is make prosthetics that are useful and that people really want. To think we are now aiding independence - and fun! – for hundreds of people across the world is just incredible.
“Something I am also really proud of is the work our Global Access team is doing through partnerships with NGOs, charities and governments, to bring our prosthetics to those most in need in countries such as Sierra Leone and Ukraine. The impact of this and its potential legacy has just blown us away.”
Three types of Koalaa prosthetic arms are currently available – the ALX for those with below elbow limb differences, the Paww for those with partial hands and fingers, and the Joeyy which is designed for under-3s.
The prosthetic arms are available to purchase through the website and can be shipped to almost any country in the world. In the UK, Koalaa prosthetics are available for free to anyone aged 18 or younger, through an initiative called Project Limitless.
For more information visit our product page