Category: Health

June 11, 2019 Off

Providing supplemental educational videos online nets Osmosis $4 million

By Jill T Frey

With over one million YouTube subscribers and 500,000 registered users for its supplemental educational videos, Osmosis, which bills itself as the Khan Academy of healthcare, has raised $4 million in new funding.

The round was led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from previous Osmosis investors including GreycroftCoverysFundRxFigure 8Social Starts, and LearnStart,

“By reimagining medical education, Osmosis is addressing a critical impending global crisis: the need to develop and retrain tens of millions of healthcare professionals over the next decade to meet growing demand,” said Aydin Senkut, founder and managing partner at Felicis Ventures.

Felicis is betting on Osmosis in part because of the increasing demand for healthcare professionals around the world. The company cites statistics claiming that roughly 35 million more healthcare professionals will need to be trained by 2030.

Co-founders Shiv Gaglani and Ryan Haynes met at … Read the rest

June 7, 2019 Off

Weighing Peloton’s opportunity and risks ahead of IPO

By Jill T Frey

Exercise tech company Peloton filed confidentially for IPO this week, and already the big question is whether their last private valuation at $4 billion might be too rich for the appetites of public market investors. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons leading up to the as-yet revealed market debut date.

Risk factors

The biggest thing to pay attention to when it comes time for Peloton to actually pull back the curtains and provide some more detailed info about its customers in its S-1. To date, all we really know is that Peloton has “more than 1 million users,” and that’s including both users of its hardware and subscribers to its software.

The mix is important – how many of these are actually generating recurring revenue (vs. one-time hardware sales) will be a key gauge. MRR is probably going to be more important to prospective investors … Read the rest

June 6, 2019 Off

Legacy, a sperm testing and freezing service, raises $1.5M

By Jill T Frey

Femtech is having a banner year, largely as a result of a massive uptick in venture capital financings for women’s fertility businesses. Men’s health companies, however, are having a moment too.

Legacy, a male fertility startup that won TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield competition at Disrupt Berlin 2018, is today announcing a $1.5 million seed round led by Bain Capital Ventures. The news follows an announcement from Dadi, a sperm storage business that closed on $2 million in capital commitments from London-based seed fund firstminute capital and New York-based Third Kind Venture Capital four months ago.

Founder and chief executive officer Khaled Kteily tells TechCrunch that Legacy, which is based out of the Harvard Innovation Labs in Boston, will use the capital to expand its sperm analysis, improvement and cryogenic storage services.

Like the genetic testing business 23andMe, Legacy sends … Read the rest

June 4, 2019 Off

Sequoia-backed Whole Biome wants to heal your gut with medical-grade probiotics

By Jill T Frey

Whole Biome has pulled in $35 million in Series B financing from a list of investing titans, including Sequoia, Khosla, True Ventures, the Mayo Foundation and AME Ventues — just to name a few. The goal? To heal what ails you using microscopic bugs.

Medical science has caught on in the last few years about the importance of gut health using these bugs (also known as probiotics). Now startups are pitching in using venture money to come up with new and novel ideas.

“We’re at a unique point in time as the field of microbiome biology converges with enabling cutting-edge technologies and bioinformatics that will open up a whole new world of innovative health products,” said Colleen Cutcliffe, Whole Biome’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

Cutliffe, who hails from DNA sequencing company Pacific Biosciences, along with her partners Jim Bullard and John Eid, built a platform able to compute information … Read the rest

June 4, 2019 Off

Apple’s new Health feature tracks unsafe headphone volumes

By Jill T Frey

According to recent numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO), roughly half of people aged 12-35 are at risk for hearing loss. That’s due in no small part to the explosive growth in “personal listening devices” like smartphones. Young people are cranking up the volume on their headphones and could be doing irreparable damage to their hearing in the process.

One of the health features Apple didn’t get around to discussing onstage yesterday tracks headphone volume levels over time. The feature, which is available as part of the Health app, is able to track listening levels on calibrated and MFi headphones (including AirPods, Beats and the like). That information will be logged as either “OK” or “Loud” based on guidance from the WHO. 

The feature joins the new Noise app, which uses the Apple Watch’s built-in microphones to measure ambient noise. That app will send notifications if sound levels reach Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Live from WWDC 2019

By Jill T Frey

Greetings from sunny San Jose. Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference officially kicks off this morning at the McEnery Convention Center with a big keynote. While the rest of the week is focused on developers, today’s show is all about what’s the come from the company, and after relatively low key events from Google and Microsoft, Apple’s looking to make a splash this year.

We’ve already seen a fair share of rumors and leaks — you can read about those here. The list includes system-wide dark mode for iOS 13, a focus on health and perhaps even the long awaited return of of the Mac Pro.

The show kicks off at at 10AM PT/1PM ET, so grab a snack and get comfy, because we’re going liveblogging below.

Source link Read the rest

May 31, 2019 Off

Diving deep into Africa’s blossoming tech scene

By Jill T Frey

Jumia may be the first startup you’ve heard of from Africa. But the e-commerce venture that recently listed on the NYSE is definitely not the first or last word in African tech.

The continent has an expansive digital innovation scene, the components of which are intersecting rapidly across Africa’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people.

When measured by monetary values, Africa’s tech ecosystem is tiny by Shenzen or Silicon Valley standards.

But when you look at volumes and year over year expansion in VC, startup formation, and tech hubs, it’s one of the fastest growing tech markets in the world. In 2017, the continent also saw the largest global increase in internet users—20 percent.

If you’re a VC or founder in London, Bangalore, or San Francisco, you’ll likely interact with some part of Africa’s tech landscape for the first time—or more—in the near future.

That’s why TechCrunch put together … Read the rest

May 28, 2019 Off

MyndYou partners with Mizuho to expand senior care services assessing cognitive degeneration

By Jill T Frey

MyndYou, which has developed a technology to assess cognitive degeneration in senior citizens, has partnered with the Japanese company Mizuho Information & Research Institute to test the company’s product for a potential nationwide rollout later in 2019. 

Starting with five cities in Japan over the course of May, MyndYou’s technology will be deployed in homes around Japan to provide remote care and analyze for changes in cognitive function.

The company has a downloadable app that passively tracks movement and monitors conversations for any signs of diminishing brain function.

“What we market today is anomaly detection and this allows us to go into the market without detecting specific anomalies,” says Ruth Poliakine, the company’s chief executive and co-founder. “As we grow and progress we see this going into more specific conditions and early conditions… first we have senior adults getting service.”

MyndYou says it already has over ten occupational therapists … Read the rest

May 27, 2019 Off

India’s FreshToHome raises $11 million to expand its fish, meat, and vegetable e-commerce platform

By Jill T Frey

Shan Kadavil, who spent early days of his career managing tech support firm Support and then heading India operations of gaming firm Zynga, says he had a calling of sorts when his son was born. Kadavil realized that much of the meat that sells in India is not exactly healthy. The perishables are loaded with chemicals to superficially extend their life by six months, if not more. He wanted to do something better.

Fast forward four years, Kadavil said today that FreshToHome, his new e-commerce startup that delivers “100 percent” pure and fresh fish, chicken, and other kinds of meat, has raised $11 million in Series A funding. The startup has raised $13 million to date.

The round was led by CE Ventures, with participation from Das Capital, Kortschak Investments, TTCER Partners, Al-Nasser Holdings, M&S Partners and other Asia and Valley based Investors. Some of the backers of FreshToHome … Read the rest

May 24, 2019 Off

Livekick raises $3M to use live video for one-on-one training

By Jill T Frey

Livekick, a startup that gives customers access to one-on-one personal training and yoga from their home (or hotel room, or elsewhere), is announcing that it has raised $3 million in seed funding.

The company was founded by entrepreneur Yarden Tadmor and fitness expert Shayna Schmidt. Tadmor said that with all his travel for work, his fitness routine “really eroded,” so he contacted Schmidt and asked her to train him remotely — they’d connect via FaceTime, he’d mount his phone at the gym and she’d supervise his workout.

“We trained this way for a while, and then we realized: Hey, this is something that other people can really benefit from,” Tadmor said.

So with Livekick, users can sign up for one, two or three live, 30-minute sessions with a remote trainer, who they’ll connect with via the Livekick iOS app or website. (After a two-week trial, pricing starts at $32 … Read the rest