Best Buy leads $5.5M investment in Valencell

By Brian Dolan
08:10 am
Share

Valencell_Healthset2Best Buy Capital, the investment arm of Best Buy, led a $5.5 million second round of investment in mobile health company Valencell. Best Buy was joined by return backers TDF and True Ventures, which participated in the company's $1 million round in November 2009. True Ventures, of course, has also invested in one of the biggest names in connected fitness: FitBit.

Valencell's Healthset powered earbuds have the potential to shake up the connected fitness market. Valencell is working with earbud and headphone companies to embed its technology in these consumer electronics companies headsets to enable fitness and health monitoring services that connect to the user's smartphones or MP3 players. Healthset's sensor tracks heart rate, calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, speed and more all through earbuds.

"People everywhere are listening to music while running and exercising," Valencell CEO and cofounder Dr. Steven LeBoeuf stated in a release. "Integrating heart rate sensors directly and seamlessly into music earbuds fits right into the behavior of consumers today. Everyone's body responds differently to exercise, so being able to monitor the heart, the body's engine, will help consumers customize and personalize workout regiments for their specific goals whether it's for weight loss, toning or endurance. Users will be able to view their metrics live through fitness applications on their iPhone, Android phones, other mobile devices and online."

Learn on-demand, earn credit, find products and solutions. Get Started >>

LeBoeuf notes that the device does not require users to wear or use devices that they aren't already using today -- no need for chest strap heart rate monitors, for example, if you have Healthset-powered earbuds in your ears.

Last year Valencell said it worked with Duke University Center for Living to conduct a clinical study of its technology. It is now working to bring in licensing partners "so it can be a part of everyone's favorite headset brands." Valencell launched with seed money from the three founders and previously raised the $1 million first round mentioned above along with $3 million in grants since its founding in 2006.

For more on the Valencell announcement read this release:

The round was led by Best Buy Capital, the investment group of Best Buy Co., Inc., with participation from Series A investors TDF and True Ventures.

Valencell is the creator of Healthset(R) powered earbuds, a disruptive technology which gives audio headsets the ability to monitor the health and fitness of the user. Healthset sensor technology tracks real-time physiological metrics including heart rate, calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, speed and more, while the consumer listens to music, talks over the phone, or goes about daily life activities. Data is streamed to smartphones and/or mp3-players through wired or wireless links, enabling live body metrics, training, and coaching via fitness applications on mobile devices and online.

"People everywhere are listening to music while running and exercising," explained CEO and cofounder Dr. Steven LeBoeuf. "Integrating heart rate sensors directly and seamlessly into music earbuds fits right into the behavior of consumers today. Everyone's body responds differently to exercise, so being able to monitor the heart, the body's engine, will help consumers customize and personalize workout regiments for their specific goals whether it's for weight loss, toning or endurance. Users will be able to view their metrics live through fitness applications on their iPhone, Android phones, other mobile devices and online."

"What makes Valencell unique is that we capture meaningful, actionable, personalized health and fitness metrics with devices people already wear," said LeBoeuf. "Carriers and mobile device manufacturers have started launching innovative products and services in mobile health and fitness markets, but until the introduction of Valencell's Healthset technology, there hasn't been a way to seamlessly and accurately capture body metrics throughout daily life activities and send this data to the user's smartphone in real time."

In 2010, Valencell validated the accuracy of its sensor technologies through a clinical study at the Duke University Center for Living medical facilities and is actively licensing its technologies to strategic partners, so it can be part of everyone's favorite headset brands. This Series B funding is being used to expand the Valencell team, increase the number of licensing deals with strategic partners, and accelerate the product pipeline to include additional physiological monitoring capabilities. Seeded by the three founders, Valencell previously raised a Series A round of $1 million and has been awarded more than $3 million in R&D grants.

MobiHealthNews:

The latest news in digital health delivered daily to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing!
Error! Something went wrong!