Croatian Bellabeat closed a seed round of 4.5 million dollars. Their service targets parents-to-be and allows them to monitor every step in the development of their unborn child through an ultrasound mobile gadget.
Bellabeat or as it used to be known “BabyWatch” (read our startup pick here) saw the light of day in 2012 and decided to rebrand their product “when we had a clear vision of where we want to go and want to be in 10 years” co-founder and COO Urska Srsen (24) explained. While they made their first steps with some angel investments and the Y Combinator acceleration programme, the current investment adds up to 4.5 million dollars. Their combination of app and hardware on the pregnancy market convinced several investors such as SVAngel, CrunchFund, Nicolas Berggruen, Paul Buchheit, Justin Kan, Michael Seibel, Universal Music Group, Cherubic Ventures, Promus Ventures, Yi Pin NG, Boon Hwee Koh and Adrian Aoun.
Revolutionising prenatal care
Srsen and her team will put the money into further developing their quantified self tool: “We’re spending the money on producing a new generation of the Bellabeat product and […] introduce real time patient monitoring, as we always wanted,” said the Srsen to inventures.eu. The team of 15, nine of which are engineers, wants to revolutionise a whole medical branch in the near future: “We’d like Bellabeat to start changing the contemporary prenatal care by offering patients an easy access to reliable information and care providers.”
The heart of their startup is a small gadget that works in combination with the Bellabeat app. It is an ultrasound device for home use, costs 129 dollars, can be ordered online and is simply attached to a mobile phone. This makes it possible to listen to your baby’s heartbeat without consulting a doctor. With sound visualisation, a kick-counter and figures of the unborn’s development parents can track what is going on in the belly of the expecting mother from the very beginning. Moreover, the social component of the service makes it possible for users to already share their first parenthood experiences with others.
“Our system is starting to integrate the quantified self into the prenatal care and resulting in benefits for expectant mothers […] and for the care providers who […] are able to reach out to them faster,” said Srsen. This self monitoring concept was voted “most likely to succeed” during the winter 2014 accelerator Y Combinator programme and won the challenge at Pioneers Festival 2013.