iBeat announces funding, partnership deals with insurers

By Dave Muoio
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San Francisco-based wearable tech company iBeat has announced new funding for its wearable continuous monitor, called Heart Watch. The investment comes from the life insurer funds SCOR Life & Health Ventures and Transamerica Ventures, and include strategic partnerships that will bring the Heart Watch to each insurer’s agents and policy holders.

iBeat did not include the total amount of the funding in their announcement, only saying that the investments totaled “upward of seven figures.” A Forbes report values the investment at $3 million while Vator.tv places it at $2.5 million. MobiHealthNews has reached out to iBeat for a confirmation of the funding amount.

“It’s invigorating to see life insurers recognize the value in investing in technology that advocates for longevity,” Ryan Howard, founder and CEO of iBeat, said in a statement. “The Heart Watch is the first of its kind to offer continuous heart monitoring and life-saving aid in the most critical moments.”

Prior to today’s announcement, iBeat had raised a total of $10 million in seed funding from Kairos, 8VC, City Light Capital, Plug and Play Ventures, and ChinaRock Capital Management, as well as a collection of angel investors including Tony Robbins, Josh Kazam, Shlomo Ben-Haim, Dr. Fred St. Goar, and Dr. Uma Valeti.

iBeat’s wearable has been designed to continuously monitor heart rate, blood flow, and oxygen levels and alert the user or emergency services if an abnormality is detected. According to the company, the device is ideal for aging populations interested in remaining active during their final days.

“iBeat recognizes these demands, as do life insurers and reinsurers like SCOR and Transamerica,” Howard said. “We can and will be the technology arm that enables insurers to take action toward having a measurable impact on longevity. Together, we will provide users with unparalleled safety. We will give them confidence to continue pursuing all the activities they love in their later years, and we will save lives.”

iBeat said in the statement that it plans to use these funds to advance product marketing and expansion for Heart Watch. The company has so far received more than 11,000 pre-orders for the watch, it said, and plans to begin shipping those orders out this summer.

“This partnership reflects SCOR Global Life’s active role in the life (re)insurance industry to work with our life insurance clients in offering policyholder benefits that promote healthy lifestyle choices and help manage medical conditions,” Brona Magee, head of client solutions at SCOR Global Life, said in a statement. “As a reinsurer, we are continually looking for ways to measure and improve mortality experience.”