Swiss-US startup Aktiia, which we featured in our cool wearable startups list for 2020, has raised an additional €5.6 million in funding to bring its optical blood pressure wrist monitor to market, which is based on 15 years of research by its founders.
Aktiia was founded in 2018 out of a passion to create the best tool for diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. Aktiia’s founders, Mattia Bertschi (CEO) and Josep Solà (CTO), previously contributed to research and development at CSEM, a prestigious Swiss research institute. For 15 years they worked day in and day out to understand the language of our heart signals and decode key markers to gain better insight into blood pressure. They built an incredible team of 15 employees and founded Aktiia to turn their years of pioneering work into a useful tool for people around the globe.
In 2018, the same year as its founding, Aktiia raised a €3.7 million seed round of funding, and over the last two years has used these funds and its scientific knowledge bring its idea to life: a cuffless blood pressure monitor, which uses standard optical sensors to take accurate readings around the clock without interrupting daily life.
Aktiia’s bracelet and algorithms have now been validated in clinical trials against arterial lines (the gold standard for clinical reference) and in ambulatory settings. Never before has it been possible to measure blood pressure profiles, at any time, over long periods. This valuable and unique dataset will allow for broader insights into the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, the largest epidemic of humankind.
Aktiia is in the final steps of taking this new solution to market, pending FDA clearance and CE mark. This €5.6 million in new funding, led by the Switzerland based Redalpine, will fuel Aktiia in achieving these goals. The round was also supported by what it calls its “strategically recruited international investor syndicate”: Translink Capital (Palo Alto, US), Investiere (Zurich, Switzerland), Libra (New York, US), Christian Wenger (Zurich, Switzerland), Sparks Street Capital (Boston, US) and Barbaric Holdings (Montreal, Canada) underpinning the company with a global network and commercialization experience.
“Getting blood pressure data 24/7, day and night, is a paradigm shift in the daily management of hypertension and will trigger a whole range of novel health- and wellness-related applications,” commented Michael Sidler, co-founder and Partner of Redalpine.