iHealth scores $25M from Xiaomi Ventures to expand global reach

By Jonah Comstock
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Picture iHealth Align - Device with iPhoneiHealth Labs, the Mountain View, California-based subsidiary of China's Andon Health has raised $25 million, a strategic investment from Chinese investor Xiaomi Ventures.

The funding will coincide with a corporate restructuring that will transform the subsidiary into a more globally decentralized company. iHealth Labs will become simply iHealth and will be split into three regional operating groups based in Mountain View, Paris, and Hong Kong. Existing iHealth personnel, technology, patents and assets will remain with the new company.

"We are very pleased to have Xiaomi Ventures as a partner in our business," Yi Liu, chairman of Andon Health, said in a statement. “This investment and partnership should help to extend our global leadership in the mobile health category by providing new capabilities to accelerate growth and new user acquisition.”

According to a press release from the company, iHealth will use the funding "to continue expanding iHealth’s global reach, accelerate growth and innovation, and invest in additional sales and marketing resources." Xaiomi Ventures will also join iHealth's board of directors. 

Technology company Xiaomi turned some heads in the wearable space when it announced a $13 health tracker in July. The device, called the Mi Band, tracks activity, acts as a silent alarm, and does something novel for fitness-tracking wristbands: unlocks the user’s phone in lieu of a password. Xiaomi has become known in China for undercutting the competition with low-cost smartphones and tablets, as well as for their Apple-esque launch events. They hired ex-Google executive Hugo Barra to run their international expansion efforts, but in July Barra denied that the company has any immediate designs on the US market.

iHealth, which was founded in 2010, makes smartphone-connected medical devices including a weight scale, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, an activity tracker and a pulse oximeter. The company has more of an explicit health focus than some of its fitness and wellness geared competitors. Most recently, this past summer, iHealth launched iHealth Align, a tiny low-cost smartphone connected glucometer.

At CES in January, iHealth announced some impressive future offerings: a blood pressure monitoring vest, an ambulatory ECG device that sticks to the wearer’s bare chest, and a wristworn pulse oximeter device. None of the devices had FDA clearance at the time, but the company predicted they would launch in the latter half of 2014.