Wearable body monitor company BodyMedia has raised another $9.3 million in its most recent round of funding, which we reported on in late March, to make for a $12 million funding round. Newcomer Comcast Ventures led the round, which also included previous investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet, Draper Triangle Ventures, Ascension Health Ventures and InCube Ventures. The company plans to use the funds to expand the use cases for its wearable body monitoring business. BodyMedia already has partnerships with Jillian Michaels and Jenny Craig for device-assisted weight management, but the $12 million will help it conduct new R&D and to expand to different health conditions.
The addition of Comcast Ventures to BodyMedia's financial backers is a notable development. BodyMedia was one of the first high-profile mobile health companies to form partnerships with the television industry -- last year BodyMedia announced plans to synch its device's data to Panasonic televisions. Could the investment by Comcast Ventures lead to greater integration between the wearable device maker and TV services?
This $12 million round was the first one BodyMedia has raised in years: Its last round of funding, according to SEC documents, was a $4 million round that included debt and equity back in October 2010.
Earlier this year BodyMedia announced a partnership with Avery Dennison, which leverages Proteus Biomedical's peel-and-stick patch technology, to develop a disposable, wireless sensor patch device for use in preliminary evaluations for weight management. The patch, which is meant to be worn for up to seven days, makes use of BodyMedia’s array of sensors to track calorie burn, steps taken, activity levels, sleep patterns and more. BodyMedia says it collects more than 5,000 data points each minute. BodyMedia’s other tracking devices are typically worn around the user’s upper arm. BodyMedia has been making such devices since 2001.
In late April BodyMedia and Withings partnered up to integrate weight data from Withings’ WiFi scale into BodyMedia user’s online dashboards and apps. Last year BodyMedia also added cellular-connectivity to its armband device via Sprint's network and integrated its data with RunKeeper's Health Graph.
More on the $12 million investment round in the press release below:
PRESS RELEASE: SAN DIEGO, CA (May 23, 2012) – BodyMedia, Inc., pioneers of wearable body monitors, today announced the completion of a $12 million funding round. The new influx of capital will help the company expand into new mobile health markets, develop new products and applications, and extend its 70-patent IP portfolio. Majority investor in the round is first-time participant Comcast Ventures, joined by previous investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet, Draper Triangle Ventures, Ascension Health Ventures and InCube Ventures.
BodyMedia develops body sensing technology used to gather and analyze physiological and lifestyle information. Its flagship armband systems continuously track calories burned, physical activity levels and sleep patterns, collecting 5,000 data points per minute. Companion software helps wearers use this information to make decisions that impact health outcomes. BodyMedia armbands are recommended by doctors and weight loss professionals, integrated into programs like the Jillian Michaels 360o Weight Loss Navigator, utilized by companies such as Jenny Craig, and available through various retail and online outlets.
The new funding, which includes $2.7 million reported mid-round, will advance BodyMedia’s business plan to extend its platform to new users and markets such as diabetes management, sleep disorders, and remote elder care and safety. Recent initiatives supporting this road map include collaboration with Avery Dennison Medical Solutions to develop a disposable seven-day body-monitoring patch.
“For more than 13 years, we have developed cutting-edge body sensing technology used for weight management and select medical applications,” said BodyMedia CEO Christine Robins. “The emerging convergence of healthcare, technology and consumerism provides an ideal launching pad for us to build on that heritage by introducing new body monitoring solutions tailored to managing a much broader range of health issues. Both our investors and our new board members recognize the business opportunity and will be instrumental in helping us accelerate our plan to become a major force in mobile health.”
“Analysts are forecasting a 47% annual growth rate in the wearable sensor market over the next few years, so there is big business potential in this space,” said Michael Yang, Managing Director, Comcast Ventures. “BodyMedia has both proven technology and a clear road map for growth. We are excited about its potential to really change people’s lives.”
Yang is joining the BodyMedia board alongside John Miclot, President and CEO of clinical-stage biotechnology company Tengion and former chief executive of sleep and respiratory care medical supply company Respironics (now Philips Respironics), and Linda Hall Keller, who has served in executive positions at UnitedHealth Group and MinuteClinic.
Robins is a presenter at the 7th Annual Wireless Health Convergence Summit this week in San Diego, where she was selected to co-lead “Convincing the Consumer: Industry Presentations on Wellness & Fitness” at 1:30 pm today at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
About BodyMedia, Inc.
When your body talks, BodyMedia listens. BodyMedia has been unlocking and deciphering secrets of the body since 1999. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, BodyMedia is the pioneer in developing and marketing wearable body monitors that equip consumers with information they can use to make sweeping changes to their own health and wellness beginning with weight management and soon to include management of other conditions affected by lifestyle choices. The BodyMedia platform is the only system of its kind that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device and that has been clinically proven to enhance users’ weight loss by up to three times (vs behavioral support alone, data on file). For more information, visit www.bodymedia.com.