Pages Navigation Menu

The blog of DataDiggers

Categories Navigation Menu

After burning through $1 billion, Jawbone’s Hosain Rahman has raised $65 million more

Posted by on May 11, 2019 in Hosain Rahman, Jawbone, jawbone health, Refactor Capital, signalfire, TC, wearable devices, Wearables | 0 comments

Not everyone gets a second chance in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneur Hosain Rahman has been given many more than that. Though his last company, Jawbone, which produced wireless speakers and Bluetooth earpieces, went kaput in 2017 after burning up $1 billion in venture funding over the course of ten years, Rahman has managed to raise $65.4 million for his new company. So shows a new SEC filing that, coincidentally or otherwise, was processed late yesterday while most of the world’s attention was focused on Uber’s IPO.

The company, Jawbone Health, isn’t brand new. According to reports of two years ago and Rahman’s LinkedIn bio, he began working in earnest on his newest endeavor when the original Jawbone was running on fumes in the summer of 2017.

In fact, according to LinkedIn, Jawbone Health now employs 51 people, including some who worked with Rahman previously. Among these is the new outfit’s VP of engineering, Jonathan Hummel, who’d been a senior engineering manager at Jawbone during the last two years of its life. Others are new to the organization because of its focus on healthcare. These include Yaniv Kerem, Jawbone Health’s VP of Informatics, whose last job was as an emergency medical physician with Kaiser Permanente.

Certainly, the company has a very different mission than even the wearable fitness trackers that Jawbone began making as a kind of Hail Mary pass, and whose failure signaled to some the end of the wearables industry — though it was really just the end of Jawbone.

As Rahman told reporter Kara Swisher last fall, what Jawbone Health is selling is a “personalized subscription service where we take all of this continuous health data about you and we combine that with a lot of machine intelligence . . .”

The idea is to prevent the avoidable diseases that wind up killing two-thirds of us owing to bad-decision making and plain-old inattention. “If you catch that stuff early and you change your behavior or whatnot, you can push out half of those deaths and save 70 percent of the cost,” he told her, adding that Jawbone Health is making its own devices, which will will come free with the service.

Still, one obvious concern for the new company is competition. Where Jawbone made attractive, wireless speakers ahead of many other companies whose products now litter our homes, Rahman is seemingly late to the party with Jawbone Health. There are already rings that track sleep activity and heart rate; bracelets that come with built-in accelerometers, heart rate sensors, and temperature sensors; and even textiles that unlock biometric insights.

That’s saying nothing of the Apple Watch, which has already put plenty of startups out of business.

Rahman says one of Jawbone Health’s biggest differentiators is that the product and service are “clinical grade.” That may be a selling point for some consumers, though we’d imagine most won’t really care. After all, humans don’t have the best track record when it comes to taking care of themselves.

Either way, the new funding, atop so much lost capital already, is sure to frustrate some founders who’ve been given fewer opportunities. It may also confuse others who’ve either worked with or funded Rahman in the past.

Then again, Rahman wouldn’t be the first founder to bounce back from failure, and he has plenty to prove. His new backers may well be counting on it.

According to the filing, Jawbone Health is backed by SignalFire and Refactor Capital in the Bay Area, and Polymath Ventures in Dubai. In his sit-down with Swisher, Rahman had also said that Meraas in Dubai is an investor. Indeed, he described it as the company’s “primary” investor.

We’ll have more on the company soon.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More

Fitbit’s newest fitness tracker is just for employees and health insurance members

Posted by on Feb 9, 2019 in activity tracker, Apple, ceo, Clothing, fitbit, huami, Internet of things, James Park, Medicare, TC, United States, wearable devices, wearable technology, Xiaomi | 0 comments

Fitbit has a new fitness tracker, but it’s one that you can’t buy in stores.

The company quietly uncorked the Inspire on Friday, releasing its first product that is available only to corporate employees and health insurance members. The idea is to offer a fully subsidized wearable that helps the company dig deeper into the corporate and business worlds.

The new devices are available as a wristband with the option of a clip. The basic tracker’s features are pretty standard and include activity and sleep tracking, calory burn and alerts from a connected phone. A higher specced model includes heart rate tracking, GPS for fitness tracking and deeper analytics on sleep. No prices are displayed on the website, but eligible customers won’t need to pay.

In an interview with CNBC, CEO James Park said the company has 6.8 million users on wellness programs include Fitbit devices via employers, health plans or hospital programs. In offering the Inspire — which is Fitbit’s cheapest device yet — the goal is to grow that number further still. Indeed, Park said Fitbit is a named covered fitness benefit in 42 Medicare Advantage plans across 27 U.S. states while it is working with insurance firms like UnitedHealth.

It makes sense that Fitbit is moving into that space because the consumer market is a tough one. Wearables are no longer an early novelty and competition is fierce. Apple dominates at the high end with the Apple Watch — which has doubled down on health features — while, at the cheaper end, companies like Xiaomi and its partner Huami offer basic trackers from as little as $30.

Fitbit went public in 2015. While its share price rallied to $6.48 on Friday on this news, it is still down massively from its list price of $20 and first-day trading close of $29.68. Today the company’s market cap stands at around $1.6 billion.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More

The Pansar Augmented watch hides it smarts behind an analog face

Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in computing, CRM, Gadgets, instagram, smartwatch, TC, ubiquitous computing, watch, wearable devices | 0 comments

The Pansar Augmented is a Swedish smart watch that looks like a standard three-handed wristwatch. However, with the tap of a button, you can view multiple data points including weather, notifications, and even sales data from your CRM.

Pansar is a Swedish watch company that uses Swiss movements and hand assembled components to add a dash of luxury to your standard workhorse watch.

The watch is fully funded on Kickstarter. It costs $645 for early birds.

The watch mostly displays the time but when the data system is activated the hands move to show any data you’d like.

The world is full of interesting data: be it the quest for information on the perfect wave, keeping track on your stock value, or the number of followers you’ve acquired since yesterday. Pansar Augmented collects the data that matters to you and streams it conveniently to the hands of your watch. This is made possible because of the unique dual directional Swiss movement combined with the Pansar Augmented app.

The watch comes in three models: the Ocean Edition that shows “relevant data on weather, wind, and swell amongst others,” the Accelerator Edition that shows website visits or Instagram views, and the Quantifier Edition for the “analytical mind” that wants to track sales numbers.

It’s definitely a clever twist on the traditional smart watch vision and, thanks to some nice styling, these could be some nice pieces for folks who don’t want the distractions of a normal Apple Watch or Android Wear device.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More

Fossil announces new update to Android Wear watches with HR tracking, GPS

Posted by on Aug 8, 2018 in android, Apple Watch, computing, fossil, Gadgets, Google, gps, huawei watch, Qualcomm, smartwatches, TC, Technology, ubiquitous computing, watches, wear os, wearable devices, Wearables | 0 comments

Fossil’s Q watch line is an interesting foray by a traditional fashion watchmaker into the wearable world. Their latest additions to the line, the Fossil Q Venture HR and Fossil Q Explorist HR, add a great deal of Android Wear functionality to a watch that is reminiscent of Fossil’s earlier, simpler watches. In other words, these are some nice, low-cost smartwatches for the fitness fan.

The original Q watches included a clever hybrid model with analog face and step counter. As the company expanded into wearables, however, they went the Android Wear route and created a number of lower-powered touchscreen watches. Now, thanks to a new chipset, Fossil is able to add a great deal more functionality in a nice package. The Venture and the Explorist adds untethered GPS, NFC, heart rate and 24-hour battery life. It also includes an altimeter and gyroscope sensor.

The new watches start at $255 and run the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, an optimized chipset for fitness watches.

The watch comes in multiple styles and with multiple bands and features 36 faces, including health and fitness-focused faces for the physically ambitious. The watch also allows you to pay with Google Pay — Apple Pay isn’t supported — and you can store content on the watch for runs or walks. It also tracks swims and is waterproof. The Venture and Explorist are 40mm and 45mm, respectively, and the straps are interchangeable. While they’re no $10,000 Swiss masterpiece, these things look — and work — pretty good.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More