Celebrities, musicians invest $650,000 in Basis founder's new startup

By Aditi Pai
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PulsebyBioBeatsBioBeats, a new company from Basis Science Founder Nadeem Kassam, raised $650,000 in a round of funding. Contributors to this round included Will Smith, producer Scooter Braun, entertainment lawyer Ken Hertz, CEO of AAM Mark Beaven, actor Damon Wayans, Cantora Records, musician Justin Boreta, ENIAC Ventures, Zhen Fund, and angel investor Gotham Chopra.

As the adoption of health sensors into daily life grows steadily, consumers are gaining access to a large amount of health data. Kassam had this in mind when conceiving BioBeats with VP Product Dr. David Plans and VP Engineering Davide Morelli. The team aims to collect heart data from the app and wearables like Jawbone UP, Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit and others and fuse it with entertainment in a way that keeps people engaged with their health data.

BioBeats is meant to work in tandem with musicians and other entertainers to create "adaptive media," or "media that reacts in real time to the body’s environment and vital signs,” Kassam told TechCrunch.

In early 2013, BioBeats and band The Far East Movement collaborated on a project on Ustream, in which The Far East Movement performed a live broadcast and asked users to contribute their heartbeats to the performance through the app. At the end of the event, 1.5 million users contributed to the collaboration. A few months later, BioBeats was one of the top three finalists in the Music Accelerator contest at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

According to TechCrunch, BioBeats' technology will sense how the user is doing during exercising and will eventually be able to slow down the pace of a song to help the user rest if they need to or add an extra verse to help the user reach a goal.

The company's first app, Pulse, asks for the user's finger and then plays music that matches his or her heart rate. Their next project, BioMuse, creates playlists based on the user's heart rate, breathing and other factors aimed to fit the user's mood, according the the BioBeats website.

While users can apply these apps to daily life, the team will also benefit from the data collected.

Kassam's first company, Basis Science, launched their first companion app for its device a few months ago on Android-based Samsung smartphones only, a unique move for an Apple dominated market. Basis' device launched last November and includes an optical blood flow monitor, a 3-axis accelerometer, a perspiration sensor, plus skin and ambient temperature sensors.