Ultrahuman raises $17.5M, touting a wearable blood glucose tracker – TechCrunch

Fitness platform Ultrahuman has formally introduced a $17.5 million Series B fund increase, with funding coming from early stage fund Alpha Wave Incubation, Steadview Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and Utsav Somani’s iSeed fund.

Plenty of founders and angel buyers additionally participated within the Bangalore-headquartered startup’s Series B, together with Tiger Global’s Scott Schleifer, Deepinder Goyal (CEO of Zomato), Kunal Shah (CEO of Cred), and Gaurav Munjal and Romain Saini (the CEO and co-founders of unacademy), amongst others. The newest tranche of funding brings its complete raised so far to $25M.

While the subscription platform has been round since 2019, providing a pretty acquainted mix of residence exercise movies, mindfulness content material, sleep periods and coronary heart price monitoring (integrating with third celebration wearables just like the Apple Watch), its newest health instrument appears relatively extra novel — because it’s designed for monitoring metabolic exercise by monitoring the person’s glucose ranges (aka, blood sugar).

Keeping tabs on blood sugar is crucial for folks dwelling with diabetes. But within the US alone hundreds of thousands of persons are prediabetic — which means they’ve a greater than regular degree of blood glucose and are liable to creating diabetes, although they could not realize it but.

More broadly, Ultrahuman claims over a billion folks on the earth endure from a metabolic well being dysfunction — underlining the size of the potential addressable promote it’s eyeing. 

Having sustained excessive blood glucose is related to a number of well being points so managing the situation with life-style adjustments like food regimen and train is advisable. Lifestyle adjustments can scale back elevated blood glucose and shrink and even keep away from adverse well being impacts — reminiscent of by averting the danger of a prediabetic particular person happening to develop full blown diabetes.

But okaynowing what sort of food regimen and train regime will work greatest for a explicit particular person will be difficult — and contain a lot of irritating trial and error — since folks’s glucose responses to totally different meals objects can differ wildly.

These responses rely on a particular person’s metabolic well being — which in flip will depend on particular person components like microbiome variety, stress ranges, time of day, meals ingredient and high quality. (See additionally: Personalized nutrition startups like Zoe — which is equally paying thoughts to blood glucose ranges however as one element of a wider play to attempt to use large information and AI to decode the microbiome.) 

With metabolic well being being so particular to every of us there’s a robust case for steady glucose monitoring having widespread utility — actually if the method and price-point will be made extensively accessible.

Here, Ultrahuman is having a go at productizing the observe for a health fanatic market — launching its first gadget in beta again in June — though the price-point it’s focusing on is beginning out pretty premium. 

The product (a wearable and a subscription service) — which it’s branded ‘Cyborg’ — consists of a pores and skin patch that extracts glucose from the interstitial fluid below the pores and skin, per founder and CEO, Mohit Kumar, with the information fed into a companion app for evaluation and visualization.

Ultrahuman app image

Image credit: Ultrahuman

The patch tracks the wearer’s blood glucose ranges as they go about their day — consuming, exercising, sleeping and so on — with the biomarker used to set off the app to nudge the person to “optimize your lifestyle”, as Ultrahuman’s web site places it — reminiscent of by alerting the person to a excessive blood glucose occasion and suggesting they take train to carry their degree down.

If the product lives as much as its promise of steady glucose monitoring made simple, lovers of junk meals may very well be in for a impolite awakening as they’re served quick suggestions on how their physique copes (or, properly, doesn’t) with their favourite snacks…

“We use medical grade sensors that have been used in the sports technology domain for the last 6-7 yrs with decent accuracy levels,” says Kumar after we ask concerning the specifics of the wearable expertise it’s utilizing. (The sensing {hardware} is being ‘worn’ right here within the sense that it’s straight connected to (i.e. caught into/on) naked pores and skin.)

While Ultrahuman’s platform has loads extra vanilla health content material, the corporate is now billing itself as a “metabolic fitness platform” — placing the nascent product entrance and heart, though the glucose monitoring subscription service stays in closed beta for now.

The startup is working a waitlist for sign-ups because it continues to hone the expertise.   

Ultrahuman touts “thousands” of individuals signed up and ready to get their fingers on the glucose tracker service — and says it’s seeing 60% week over week development in signal ups, with wider availability of the product slated for “early 2022”.

Some of the Series B money might be used to make enhancements to the standard of the glucose biomarkers forward of a full product launch.

On the enhancements facet, Kumar tells TechCrunch the crew is exploring “other form factors and other types of sensors that could help us capture glucose in a more accurate way and for a longer duration than 14 days”, as they work to hone the wearable. (The present model of the skin-worn sensor solely lasts two weeks earlier than it have to be changed with one other patch.)

“We want to add more biomarkers like HRV [heart-rate variability], sleep zones and respiratory rate to help people understand the impact of metabolic health on their recovery/sleep and vice-versa,” he provides.

Ultrahuman says it determined to deal with monitoring glucose as its “main biomarker” as it may be used as a proxy for quantifying a variety of health and wellness points — making it a (doubtlessly) very helpful measure of particular person well being indicators.

Or offered the startup’s expertise is ready to detect adjustments to glucose ranges with sufficient sensitivity to have the ability to make significant suggestions per person.

“Glucose is interesting because it is a real-time biomarker that’s affected by exercise, sleep, stress and food,” says Kumar, including: “We are able to help people make lifestyle changes across many vectors like nutrition, sleep, stress and exercise vs being unidimensional. It is also highly personalized as it guides you as per your body’s own response.”

He offers some examples of how the product may assist customers by figuring out useful tweaks they may make to their food regimen and train regimes — reminiscent of determining which meals of their present food regimen yield “a healthy metabolic response” vs people who “need more optimization” (aka, avoiding the dreaded sugar crash). Or by serving to customers determine “a great meal window” for his or her life-style — primarily based of their physique’s glucose consumption price.

Other useful nudges he suggests the service can present to sensor-wearing customers — with a watch on athletes and health fanatics — is how greatest to gasoline up earlier than train to carry out optimally.

Optimizing the final meal of the day to enhance sleep effectivity is one other suggestion.

If Ultrahuman’s Cyborg can do all that with a (bearably) wearable pores and skin patch and a little bit of intelligent algorithmic evaluation it may take the quantified self development to the subsequent degree.

A easy stick-on sensor-plus-app that passively amplifies inner organic indicators and interprets particular person biomarkers into extremely actionable real-time customized well being insights may very well be the beginning of one thing big in preventative healthcare.

Again, although, Ultrahuman’s early pricing suggests there might be some pretty arduous limits on who is ready to faucet in right here.

Early adopters within the closed beta are shelling out $80 per 30 days for the subscription service, per Kumar. And — a minimum of for now — the startup is eyeing including extra bells and whistles, relatively than fewer. “[Product pricing] will mostly be in the same range but may introduce more services/premium features on top of this,” he confirms.

The (sometimes greater) price of consuming healthily and having sufficient leisure time to have the ability to take care of your physique by taking train are different arduous socioeconomic limits that gained’t be fastened by a wearable, regardless of how sensible.


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