Former Practice Fusion CEO's heart monitoring wearable startup iBeat closes $1.5M

By Heather Mack
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San Francisco-based iBeat, makers of a heart-monitoring wearable positioned to compete with PERS devices, closed approximately $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by Maveron, Subtraction Capital and Correlation Ventures. Other investors include Ali and Hardi Partovi, former NFL player Russell Okung, KKR partner Henry Kravis, Band of Angels and industrial design firm Ammunition Group.

Notably, former Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard is the founder and CEO of iBeat.

The funding will be used to recruit talent, expand the company’s infrastructure and commercialize iBeat’s heart-monitoring wristworn device. The goal of the watch is to reduce death from cardiac arrest by intervening whenever a heart rate change might warrant it.

The iBeat device works by continuously monitoring and analyzing the user’s heart activity, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Should there be a sudden, life-threatening spike or dip in heart rate, iBeat will alert the user, their loved ones and emergency responders immediately to deliver care as fast as possible.

“Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the US, and nine out of ten people who have a cardiac arrest incident without intervention die,” Howard said in a statement. “Our vision is to lower this number by bringing to marker a beautiful and sleek smartwatch that will quicken the delivery of care and help save lives.”

The watch is not yet available, but Howard reports strong support from investors. That the watch was even in development was just announced in May, nearly a year after Howard stepped down from his post as CEO at Practice Fusion.

“The interest we’ve had in iBeat has been remarkable,” said Howard. “We were oversubscribed for our seed funding and our thrilled to see such high caliber investors who also recognize the potential of this product.”

Investors note the background experience of the iBeat team, as well as the quality of the product, as reasons to get behind the device.

“iBeat has the combination of a proven entrepreneur coupled with a massive consumer market that is primed for change,” David Wu, general partner at Maveron said in a statement. “We’re incredibly excited about how their product can affect the lives of millions of people, and the potential to disrupt the multi-billion dollar PERS industry.”