Investing & Startups| July 27, 2018
Beddr SleepTuner Gets $5.6M in Funding to Establish Itself in U.S. Consumer Market
Beddr received $5.6 million in Series A funding to bring its sleep tracker, the Beddr SleepTuner, to the consumer market. According to Beddr’s press release, funding support is led by Three Leaf Ventures with additional investment from Stanford-StartX Fund, Delta Dental Washington Seed Fund and I.T. Farm, among others.
In a recent interview, CEO Michael Kisch said the company plans to capitalize on this round of investments “to commercialize and push its clinical-grade consumer sleep tracker to market.”
According to Beddr’s site, “over one billion people worldwide suffer from sleep problems.” That one billion included the company’s founders, which prompted the creation of Beddr, and the search for a more user-friendly and clinically reliable approach to the study of human sleep behavior.
Among the many sleep disorders in existence, sleep apnea, or the occurrence of disrupted breathing during sleep, is considered to be one of the most common sleep disorders that affects a large portion of the population. Left untreated, the condition can cause elevated blood pressure, stroke or even, in most severe cases, heart failure and death.
Over-sleeping, not sleeping enough or not dreaming, all affect health too. In some cases these sleep disorders can take their toll on mental health, weight, and even hormone levels.
Frost & Sullivan estimates that undiscovered breathing problems cost the U.S. at least $149 billion every year, and these issues can accentuate pre-existing health problems.
A new Parks Associates’ study called “Sleep and IoT: Behaviors, Awareness, and Opportunities,” reports more than half (57 percent) of the interviewed individuals are afflicted by one or more sleep related issues, and 42 percent are worried their overall health will become worse because of reduced sleep quality.
Mobile app and predictive analysis come to the rescue of restless sleepers
The Beddr solution consists of the SleepTuner, which integrates a clinical-grade sleep sensor, the mobile app, and predictive analytics, offering individualized insights and recommended actions.
The device is wirelessly connected to the app, which automatically compares present and prior sleep information, guiding users how to finetune their sleeping habits.
It transmits data concerning sleep duration, sleeping position or change of position, which implies restlessness, heart rate information, how oxygenated blood is, and whether the wearer experienced episodes of sleep apnea.
Sensors gather and analyze the wearer’s data and returns daily sleep quality ratings and user insights.
Managing sleep disorders with less discomfort and more insight
The SleepTuner is likely to improve sleep disorder comprehension, and could, hopefully, shorten the time in which a solution to the individual problem is found. “I’ve experienced the sleep medicine system first hand. Ultimately, it helped me, but it took a long time for me to find the best solution to my chronic sleep problems,” Kiki Broe, partner at Three Leaf Ventures, said.
One of the reasons investors backed Beddr, Broe added, was their belief sleep problems are mostly not diagnosed and poorly-treated, and they felt the Beddr solutions can have a significant impact.
Beddr SleepTuner is only the first step, but an important one, since it will help individuals and their respective physicians to be aware of what exactly is happening during the person’s sleep, without visiting a sleep clinic.
How to improve sleep quality, digitally
What Beddr intends to do now, with the help of $5.6 million and some leading physicians, is generate a digital integrated solution to help people figure out and eventually find a treatment for their sleep related issues. Other digital solutions are already used to reduce health related costs throughout the industry.
Already available for preorder, the SleepTuner has a suggested price of $149, but first buyers will have it for $99, the company announced, within limits of existing supply, delivery being scheduled for fall.
The SleepTuner is a relatively small tracker, that is placed on the user’s forehead, with the help of one-time use hypoallergenic adhesives (12 are being included in the offer when one buys the tracker).
Beddr is a health technology company, led by Mike Kisch, CEO, Tom Goff, CTO, Simon Vining, VP Marketing and Product Development, and Kirby Chiang, Lead Mechanical Engineer. It’s goal is to make people healthier, by improving their quality of sleep with a digital approach to understanding sleep disorders and better dealing with them. Founded by successful digital health entrepreneurs with proven track records, Beddr is backed by Three Leaf Ventures, the Stanford-StartX Fund, and top experts in sleep medicine. Based in Mountain View, Calif., with offices in Seattle, Beddr was founded in 2016. For more information, visit www.beddrsleep.com/.