Keto diet breath sensor, app startup closes $2.5M seed round

Keyto's platform measures biomarkers in a user's breath to gauge the state of their metabolism.
By Dave Muoio
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Keyto, a startup building a connected breath sensor and companion app to support users following a ketogenic diet, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Craft Ventures, and also included additional support from Floodgate Fund, Abstract Ventures and Hydra Ventures alongside Eventbrite cofounders Julia and Kevin Hartz.

According to a statement, this investment will be used to increase manufacturing and R&D for the company’s device. Keyto expects its consumer-focused platform to ship in early 2019, and is currently offering the device for pre-sale on Indiegogo at a price of $99.

“Over the past year, the ketogenic diet has become one of the most popular diets in the United States. We believe the market is ripe for a device like Keyto, which can help people reach their goals more effectively,” David Sacks, cofounder and general partner of Craft Ventures, said in a statement. “The Keyto team’s proven track record combined with the unique form factor of its product make it a very compelling investment.”

Pitched as an alternative to urine strips or blood tests, Keyto’s connected sensor measures the acetone content in a user’s breath to determine whether their body has entered a state of ketosis as a result of their diet. After breathing into the battery-powered device, users can view the iOS and Android app to view their personal “Keyto Level” measurement, as well as receive personalized guidance, meal recommendations, diet-friendly recipes, lifestyle tips, educational videos and access to a community of dieting peers.

Why it matters

Keto, sometimes more so than other diets, can be damaging to certain individuals and requires frequent monitoring among others. As such, a service that can track a dieter’s personal biomarkers and deliver diet-specific health education in an appealing way could reduce unintended outcomes.

What’s the trend

Much like calorie counter apps or other wellness-based offerings, Keyto joins the digital consumer health ecosystem as another mobile tool for dieting consumers looking to to track progress. But it isn’t alone in the digital keto space — Virta Health, a digital diabetes management company that recently announced a 100 percent risk-based pricing structure, pairs a keto diet with tracking, coaching and remote monitoring to reduce patients’ risk of the chronic disease.

On the record

“The caliber of our investment partners is a testament to the strong product we have built over the past year. We can now bring one of the most promising and sophisticated health programs to market,” Dr. Ethan Weiss, associate professor and preventative cardiologist at UCSF and a cofounder of Keyto, said in a statement. “We have made the science behind the ketogenic diet simple with a device that can track metabolism in real-time paired with an app that provides actionable recommendations to help people lose weight fast while maintaining healthy lifestyles.”