Oura, a Finnish manufacturer of wearable fitness devices, has experienced explosive growth over the past two years. With the pandemic freezing professional sports for all of 2020, a number of major leagues have embraced the ring, including the NBA, WNBA, UFC and NASCAR.
Initially differentiated by its shape, the Oura Ring has already been sold over 500,000 times to date.
The company also has a strong focus on health research, which it is expanding at a rapid pace, including through UCSF, which has published peer-reviewed studies around the ring’s temperature monitor. Aside from standing out in a crowded field of wearables revolving primarily around the wrist, the health technology visionary has largely won the aforementioned leagues with this temperature feature that could indicate larger issues, including the early stages of COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the company announced a US $100 million Series C funding round that will be spent on R&D (hardware and software development) and hiring, including additional marketing and customer experience. The round also saw the hiring of a number of key personnel, including Shyamal Patel, head of science, Tommi Heinonen, head of site, and Daniel Welch, promoted to CFO.
The round, led by The Chernin Group and Elysian Park (the investment arm of the Dodgers), brings the total funding for the apparel company to $148.3 million. New investors include Temasek, JAZZ Venture Partners and Eisai, who join existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Square, MSD Capital, Marc Benioff, Lifeline Ventures, Metaplanet Holdings and Next Ventures.
Harpreet Singh Rai, CEO of Oura, explained in a statement how the wearable industry is gradually shifting from activity trackers to health platforms, which contribute more holistically to improving people’s lives. He also explained how Oura was one of the first to focus on sleep, as lack of sleep has been linked to worsening health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, poor mental health, etc.
Eurie Kim, Managing Director of new investor’s Forerunner, added that the pandemic has highlighted all the major gaps in the healthcare sector and the growing need for everyone to take control of their own health in an optimal way. He concluded that the VC is confident that Oura is a trusted leader and that its platform is a trusted community that allows people to access personalised data that provides actionable insights to improve their health.”