Seattle’s Vicis Raises $ 15 Million to Expand Work on Protective Football Helmet



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Vicis, founded five years ago, now has its ZERO1 football helmet used by 120 professional and university teams.

Vicis, a Seattle-based football helmet developer, has raised an additional $ 15 million from private investors that will help him speed up manufacturing, get into other sports, and work on combat helmets.

Vicis CEO and co-founder Dave Marver said the new capital, which brings the company’s total funding to $ 70 million, will be used to increase production capacity after Vicis was “overwhelmed with orders ”this season for his ZERO1 helmet.

The NFL, in its annual safety test, in April ranked the ZERO1 best suited to reducing the severity of head shocks for the second year in a row. Virginia Tech researchers also ranked the most suitable helmet for reducing the risk of head trauma this year in the university’s annual helmet reviews.

Marver said the new funding reported in a regulatory filing Thursday would also be used to expand the business to other sports and its work with the U.S. military.

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Vicis said in May that she was awarded a contract from the U.S. Army to improve Army and Marine Corps combat helmets by applying her technology to existing combat helmet liner pads.

Marver, who founded the company in 2013 with UW mechanical engineering president Per Reinhall and neurosurgeon Dr. Samuel Browd, said the ZERO1 has a “deformable” outer shell, unlike the hard outer layer of the body. ‘a traditional football helmet. (UW mechanical engineering professor Jonathan Posner was also involved in founding Vicis, but is no longer affiliated with the company.)

“The ZERO1 has hundreds of columns that bend, compress and move on impact, helping to slow forces before they reach the head,” he said.

The company worked with the University of Washington and the University of Oregon to test the ZERO1 ahead of its launch last year, and Marver said the helmet was worn by 75 players across 18 NFL teams during the its first season.

This year, he said, 120 professional and college teams will wear the ZERO1 and more than 1,000 high school programs will use it. The Big 12 conference announced a partnership with Vicis last week, and Baylor said Thursday that 80 of its players will wear the helmet this season, joining the University of Notre Dame, which plans to donate the helmet to all. his list.

Vicis is headquartered in South Lake Union and manufactures its helmets at a factory in Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle.

This story was revised on August 9 to list Jonathan Posner as the co-founder of Vicis.

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