Redmond, Wash.-based Sensoria has signed a term sheet for a $5 million first investment round with Italy’s Reply SpA. The investment put 20 percent of Sensoria into Reply’s portfolio and earned Reply a board seat.
Sensoria, formerly named Heapsylon, is a biometric wearables development firm, producing several smart mobile-capable products (tennis shoes, sports bras, and T-shirts) and an SDK platform that enables any company to develop and manufacture products for the $5 billion smart wearables market. Last month, we reported on platform developments in this market space in an interview with an Intel executive.
Publicly held Reply SpA is a global consulting, systems integration, and digital services company with revenues in the $800 million range. According to chairman Mario Rizzante, “access to the Sensoria developer kit, or SDK, is at the heart of the investment.”
“Together we can leverage the power of the Sensoria developer kit to reach out to business and technology leaders and deliver unique, meaningful and quantified experiences for our enterprise customers in an increasingly broader range of industries.”
Davide Vigano, co-founder and CEO of Sensoria, said “This round of financing will help us to accelerate the pace of innovation, convert data into wisdom, and make vision become reality for our customers and partners.” Sensoria will use the funding “to drive engineering, sales, and marketing efforts.”
Smart, mobile-enabled clothing helps professional athletes and everyday fitness enthusiasts improve performance and monitor health and wellness in real time. Sensoria’s products and the SDK include textile and sensors, electronics, cloud, and mobile software. Garments become biometric data-gathering devices.
In addition to sensor-equipped sports bras, Sensoria produces biometric smart socks and T-shirts equipped with various sensors that communicate via Bluetooth with mobile devices running the Sensoria app. Accurate measurements may include step counting, speed, altitude, distance, heart rate, and calories burned. Impact force is also measurable.
Competitors in the sensor-equipped wearables space include Nike Fuelband and Fitbit. Sensoria says these devices capture only a fraction of the data generated by a Sensoria garment and don’t answer key sports questions like speed, distance, and calorie burn. Nor do they allow data analysis to cut stress and impact that leads to injury.
Regarding the potential to cut injuries like concussions, Vigano exclusively told VentureBeat, “Thanks to our textile sensing technology, microelectronics and cloud based development system we can enable biometric data-driven experiences in not only football but other sports including cycling, soccer, golf and more. By working with the Reply consulting and system integration teams we can enable companies to create new lines of smart products that help deepen the connection with their customers.”
For this first institutional deal, Heapsylon re-registered as Sensoria, Inc.. Heapsylon was founded in late 2010. The company, which does not disclose revenues, self funded for the first 18 months, then raised angel funding of $1 million. In the summer of 2013, an IndieGoGo crowdfunding initiative produced $115,000.
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