The “wearables” market is poised to grow from 14 million devices shipped in 2011 to as many as 171 million units shipped in 2016, so why not throw millions and millions of dollars at a company?
Vancouver-born, San Francisco-based startup BASIS Science, Inc., the company behind the Basis, a biometric health tracker, has extended it’s Series B round to $23 million dollars, taking on an additional $11.75 million from several investors.
The round included investments from Intel Capital, iNovia Capital, Dolby Family Fund, Stanford University and Peninsula-KCG. Existing investors Mayfield Fund, DCM and Norwest Venture Partners, also participated.
“We now capture billions of heart beats each week and our users remain more engaged with our system versus other options in the category,” said Basis CEO Jef Holove. “With this new support, we’ll be able to continue to build on our strong foundation and offer a great experience for many more people looking to build healthy habits.”
Basis was founded in Vancouver by a Canadian named Nadeem Kassam, before he moved to California in late 2011.
The Basis band is now available for purchase, priced at $199. All Things D called the band the most “serious” wearable band on the market, and now the company is actually selling the product on its website. It measures heart rate, skin temperature, perspiration and movement, with a strong emphasis on its superior. It’s a little bigger than competing bands but largely, it’s supposed to perform at a superior level.
The estimate that by 2016 171 million wearable bands will be sold might be a liberal estimate. Holove told All Things D what it would take to get there.
“I think they’re all too big, and the battery life is all too short in this first generation,” he said. “But the big issue is, so far, none of them do anything that wasn’t possible with a smartphone. Nothing that you get by wearing it, rather than it being in your pocket. For me, if that’s all we have accomplished, then we have nothing.”
Basis also announced the expansion of its product team with the hire of VP of Product, Ethan Fassett, who previously was an entrepreneur in residence at Trinity Ventures. Before that, he served as senior vice president of product for GREE International, working on the company’s social gaming platform.
Intel Capital’s Arvind Sodhani said that wearable computing enables a data-driven approach to managing healthcare and fitness. “By collecting heart rate, skin and ambient temperature data along with movement tracking, the Basis multi-sensor band opens up opportunities for data analytics driving deeper insights into health and personal behaviour.”