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Put a Sensor Ring on It

Put a Sensor Ring on It
June 18, 2020

Health and fitness wearable maker Oura Ring is stepping up its game in fighting the coronavirus. The products, made by the Finnish startup, can reportedly predict the onset of coronavirus symptoms, such as subtle changes in temperature, sleep patterns, and heart rate. It is now testing its COVID predictive technology with thousands of participants, including NBA players and Vegas hotel workers. 

Earlier this month, study results from West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute suggested that physiological data from the rings, combined with information obtained from wearers via in-app surveys, can “forecast and predict the onset of COVID-19 related symptoms” three days in advance, with 90 percent accuracy. The study included around 600 front line healthcare workers in its first phase and is now scaling up to get data from thousands of participants.

Wearable technology has seen a boom during the pandemic. Big employers such as Amazon see it as a critical part of the reopening plan. Starting with its facility in Kent, Washington, Amazon will today begin deploying wearable devices -- shaped like clear plastic sleeves -- that emit a loud beeping noise and flashing lights when workers are too close to one another.

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New Eye-Catching Wearable Tech Companies:

Ralph Lauren’s PoloTech Shirt provides the wearer with biometric feedback — your heart rate, your breathing depth and more are all available as you work out. If you work out on a regular basis, you’ll want a few “replacement” shirts as well. The Bluetooth-enabled black box is detachable, and you simply slide it into a fresh shirt for the next workout. Compatible with your Apple Watch or iPhone, the PoloTech App is only available on the U.S. App Store.

Misfit is an American consumer electronics company founded on October 14, 2011 by Sonny Vu, Sridhar Iyengar, and John Sculley. It specializes in wearable technology that utilizes sensors and home automation products. Misfit's wearable activity trackers count sleep, calories, and basic steps that can be synced to a mobile app on a compatible smartphone. In November 2015, Misfit was acquired for $260M by Fossil Group.

Muse is a wearable brain sensing headband. The device measures brain activity via 4 electroencephalography (EEG) sensors. An accompanying mobile app converts the EEG signal into audio feedback that is fed to the user via headphones. Muse is manufactured by InteraXon, a company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that was founded in 2007 by Ariel Garten, Trevor Coleman, Chris Aimone, and Steve Mann originally at Toronto's 330 Dundas Street West (Steve Mann's lab). Development of the Muse product began in 2003, and after several rounds of fundraising, was released to the public in May 2014. In 2018, the company launched Muse 2, which also measures heart rate, breath, and body movement.

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Syncari announces $6.5M seed round and new board members, including former founder of Mulesoft.

BIOMILQ, which creates cultured human breastmilk in a lab, announces that it has raised $3.5M in funding. The round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from Shazi Visram, founder of Happy Family Brands and healthynest.

Eon, the SaaS platform for creating digital identities and connecting products to IoT in fashion, apparel and retail, raises $808k in funding according to a recent SEC filing. The filing indicates that the total offering is for $1M, that there were nine investors in this closing, and that this round is being structured as a SAFE note. Founded by Natasha Franck in 2017, Eon has now raised a total of $2M in reported equity funding.

Akia, a Menlo Park-based start-up focused on transforming the way hotels engage with their guests, announces it has secured a new round of funding from GSR Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm with more than $3B under management. Akia will utilize the capital to accelerate and expand implementation of its AI-enabled SaaS platform, which allows hotels to provide guests with contactless options such as pre-arrival check-in and shifting in-person guest communications to text messaging. Akia’s customers include brands such as Hyatt, Marriott, Best Western, NoMad, The Ritz-Carlton Club & Residences, and many luxury boutiques.

4D Molecular Therapeutics (4DMT), a clinical-stage leader in the development of precision-guided AAV gene medicines based on directed evolution, announces the closing of its $75M Series C financing. The round was led by Viking Global Investors, with participation from new investors including Amzak Health, Casdin Capital, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Longevity Vision Fund, MiraeAsset Financial Group, Octagon Investments, and QUAD Investment Management. Existing investors also participated in the financing, including Arrowmark Partners, Berkeley Catalyst Fund, BVF Partners L.P., Pappas Capital & Chiesi Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Pfizer Ventures, and Ridgeback Capital Investments.

Abacus Insights, a leading data integration and interoperability platform that enables health plans and their providers to create a more personalized healthcare experience for consumers, announces it has raised a $35M Series B round from new and returning investors. The latest round was led by new investor Blue Venture Fund and joined by returning investors CRV, .406 Ventures, Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., and Echo Health Ventures, a strategic collaboration of Cambia Health Solutions and Mosaic Health Solutions. The debt facility was provided by J.P. Morgan.

KKR & Co. teamed up with a firm led by the former head of Dean Foods Co. to win an auction for bankrupt Borden Dairy Co., putting KKR back in the milk business it gave up years ago.

Calligo announces that it has acquired Itomic Voice & Data, an IT managed services provider with bases in Dublin and Cork. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Credit Sesame announces the completion of its acquisition of Canadian challenger bank STACK. This acquisition marks the beginning of the company's international expansion. Credit Sesame and STACK began a partnership in late 2019, marrying Credit Sesame's deep credit expertise and STACK's innovative digital banking services to create Sesame Cash, a new kind of no-fee digital banking service that helps consumers grow their cash and credit together in one place.

The digital yard-solutions company PINC has announced that it has secured a significant growth equity investment from Accel-KKR. The amount was not disclosed.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
320,656 Profiles Updates | 134 M&A Deals182 Funding Activities
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Thanks for reading. 
Be well and stay healthy!

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