Biometric Clothing Vendor Sensoria Raises $5 Million Series A Round

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Redmond, WA-based biometric clothing startup Sensoria announced a $5 million Series A round led by Reply SpA, an Italian consulting and systems integration firm. In return, Reply SpA is taking a 20 percent equity stake in Sensoria and adding a seat to the board of directors. The round brings Sensoria’s total funding to $6 million, with a $1 million angel investment in 2013 and a $115,000 Indiegogo Campaign.

Despite launching in 2010, Sensoria is still a pre-market startup. The company is building “smart clothing” with embedded sensors that are able to monitor a variety of different biometrics and sync them wirelessly with a tethered smartphone. The company is developing fitness socks for athletes that need to capture more than a traditional activity tracker. These socks go well beyond measuring steps taken, capturing cadence, weight distribution, and foot landing technique. This information is passed to an anklet that sends data to a smartphone. The accompanying app is able to provide real-time adjustment recommendations to help athletes improve technique.

At $79 each, the sports bra and t-shirt models are much less compelling products. Each provides heart rate monitor electrodes that a separately purchased heart rate sensor ($69.00/each) can be attached too. The shirts and bras do not themselves capture any biometric data. The result is an overpriced heart rate monitor that you have to run through the laundry between uses. The alternative would be to simply buy one of the many heart rate monitors on the market today that are cheaper and that do not require users to wear specific clothing for them to work. The portfolio of biometric clothing is expected to start shipping in late summer of this year

Beyond the consumer technology, Sensoria is also selling a software developer kit to third-party companies that want to build apps around the data Sensoria  captures. Thus far, the company has signed up Runkeeper, RunMeter, MapMyRun, and Ednomondo, among others. Reply SpA chairman Mario Rizzante sees the $1,000 per license SDK sales as the true monetization strategy for the company, saying “together we can leverage the power of the Sensoria developer kit to reach out to business and technology leaders and deliver unique, meaningful, and quantified experiences for our enterprise customers in an increasingly broader range of industries.”

Davide Vigano, Sensoria CEO and former Microsoft executive, reports that the new funding will go toward engineering, sales, and marketing efforts.


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