Seven months after announcing an $11.5 million Series B round of funding, Basis Science is filling its coffers once again. On Tuesday, the startup behind the Basis health-tracking wristwatch said it has garnered $11.75 million in a second tranche of its latest round.
The new funding came from a diverse range of investors, including Intel Capital, iNovia Capital, Dolby Family Trust, Stanford University and Peninsula-KCG. The round, which also included existing investors Mayfield Fund, DCM and Norwest Venture Partners, brings the company’s total amount raised to $32.25 million.
In addition to the financing, the company said that its online store is now open to the public. Previously, interested customers had to register with the startup and wait for an invitation to purchase a watch.
As we’ve noted before, wearable technology is becoming an increasingly crowded space. Basis not only faces competition from Nike and Jawbone’s fitness-tracking bands, it must take on smartwatches from tech giants like Sony and Motorola (and likely Apple and Google in the future, too). Several mobile apps provide similar health-tracking features, as well.
In the wearable health tech category, the Basis watch is more expensive and bigger than the wristbands. But it includes four sensors that capture motion, heart rate, perspiration and skin temperature. That means it can provide users with more information about their health and activities and, the company says, keep them more engaged.
“Historically, the challenge has always been around how to keep the user engaged for long enough to make a difference,” said CEO Jef Holove. “We give you the framework for acting on [your health data and insights].”
In addition to generating data, Basis helps users figure out the healthy habits and small routines that will improve their health. While the company wouldn’t disclose specific user engagement numbers, Holove said engagement is “far, far, far above” industry stats indicating that, for the average mobile health app, engagement drops off by 80 percent after two weeks.
With the new funding, the startup plans to continue to scale (both in terms of hardware and cloud services). It also plans to build up its back-end to support users and invest in mobile app development to further boost engagement.