Belfast-based biometrics startup B-Secur produces a wearable device, Heartkey, which derives insights about individuals and how they are feeling based on their unique heartbeat, using electocardiogram technology.
The startup has raised a second round of investment of €4.6 million from a syndicate of some of the UK and Ireland’s leading investors, including Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) and Kernel Capital, both of which supported B-Secur’s previous funding round.
Founded in 2014, B-Secur’s technology harnesses the unique electrical signal of an individual’s heartbeat (ECG) as a means of personal authentication. B-Secur launched its Heartkey brand at CES. Heartkey combines user identification with advanced physiological monitoring for health and wellness purposes, including medical grade heart rate, stress and fatigue monitoring, which can be applied to everyday situations such as driving a car, or for real-time health monitoring in the home.
B-Secur is now partnering with some of the world’s top motoring manufacturers, global wearable and fitness tracker technology firms and leading semiconductor manufacturers, to embed Heartkey into multiple everyday technologies and wearables.
The funding round comes just weeks after B-Secur took centre stage at the world’s biggest consumer technology event, Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
“CES has been the world’s gathering place for innovators and breakthrough technology for 50 years, so we were thrilled to be part of it and to showcase ground-breaking technology which has been developed by some incredibly talented people in Northern Ireland,” said B-Secur CEO, Alan Foreman.
“Securing further investment at this critical stage recognises our rapid development over the past 18 months and the market relevance of B-Secur’s technology. Most importantly, it’s a strong indicator of B-Secur’s growth potential on a global scale.
“Heartkey’s algorithms offer data protection for devices and vehicles. It also offers the added benefit of providing insights into an individual’s physical wellbeing, which enables a wide range of life-enhancing or potentially life-saving benefits,” Foreman continued. “We’re at a really exciting stage for the business, we have forged very significant links with big name partners who recognise our technology’s value and importance to their own product development and this investment will allow us to continue driving our ambitions for B-Secur forward.”
“When everyday wearables become medical grade devices, the importance of assuring who can access sensitive information is of the greatest importance,” said Tong Gu, Investment Lead at ADV. “B-Secur’s Heartkey software enables any OEM to achieve near medical grade heart monitoring and tracking capability coupled with unique authentication. One product roadmap with two distinct solutions, all derived from one heartbeat (ECG) signal. We’re backing B-Secur for the second time because we truly believe in the product vision and the team.”