Basis nabs $11.5M, recruits big names Chopra, Dyson

By Jonah Comstock
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Basis 2Basis Science, the San Francisco-based company that makes the Basis Band wristworn activity tracker and heart monitor, has raised $11.5 million in its second round of funding. The round, led by the Mayfield Fund, is the company's first public funding round since it raised $9 million in 2011, bringing the company's total funding to $20.5 million. Previous investors DCM and Norwest Venture Partners also contributed to the round.

At the time of their March 2011 funding raise, the company had announced pre-orders on their flagship consumer health tracker device. In November of last year, after nearly two years of quiet development, the product finally launched, emphasizing a focus on behavior change and healthy habits to stand out from the now-crowded tracker field.

"Our new round of funding speaks to the growth opportunity in the burgeoning digital health category, and will enable Basis to scale to meet demand and to deliver even more from our sensor-rich device and habits platform," Basis CEO Jef Holove said in a statement.

In addition to the funding raise, the company announced some new advisors. Mayfield Managing Director Tim Chang, who worked at Norwest during Basis's first funding round, joined Basis's board of directors. The company also announced some new, high profile advisors.

Deepak Chopra, MD is a well-known physician and alternative medicine advocate, as well as an author of multiple New York Times bestsellers.

"People can now get a more complete picture of their overall health, with visibility into their activity and sleep, as well as important physiological metrics like heart rate," Chopra said in a statement. "This means Basis can offer a more engaging and insightful way for people to get and stay healthy."

Esther Dyson, the daughter of famed physicist and futurist Freeman Dyson, is a prominent angel investor whose portfolio includes a number of high-profile digital health companies: 23andMe, Crohnology, Genomera, HealthTap, Health Rally, Keas, Medivo, Omada Health, PatientsLike Me and Voxiva. She's also been active in Russian digital health, funding WebMD-like VitaPortal and helping to launch the Russian version of Text4Baby. Dyson is an early prominent advocate of the Quantified Self movement.