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Aktiia lands $30M to scale optical blood pressure wristband monitors

27 Feb 2024

Swiss firm secures backing from group including Redalpine and Khosla Ventures.

Aktiia, a Swiss startup company that has developed wristbands using photonics technology to provide continuous blood pressure monitoring, says it has closed a venture round raising CHF 27 million ($30 million).

Spun out of the Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM) following 15 years of research by CTO Joseph Solà and his colleagues, Aktiia sells wristband wearables using photoplethysmography to determine blood volume changes in small blood vessels. The wristbands are calibrated monthly using a conventional blood pressure monitor.

Now approved in 44 countries and available to buy in Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, the wristbands have received CE Mark approval in Europe and are set up to automatically take blood pressure readings at appropriate times - typically when the wearer is still, and often at night.

The injection of venture cash comes as the company looks to expand on its existing base of 60,000 customers, alongside dozens of healthcare providers said to be using Aktiia’s technology.

“This strategic infusion of capital will accelerate Aktiia's mission to ease the global burden of hypertension by providing groundbreaking insights into blood pressure management through AI-driven technology,” announced the firm.

300 million data points
The new round of support is accompanied by the appointment of Daniel Graf as the firm’s new president. Posting on LinkedIn, the former Google, Uber, Twitter, and Philips executive wrote:

“I joined Aktiia as President on a part-time basis and as a member of the Board of Directors last October.

“Aktiia is revolutionizing blood pressure measurement and understanding, and I'm thrilled to contribute to this transformative technology. Hypertension affects 1.4 billion people worldwide and accounts for over 18 million annual deaths!

“Since its commercial launch in 2021, Aktiia has gathered over 300 million cardiovascular data points from over 60,000 users.

“These data points serve as the foundation for our AI-driven insights for novel understanding and care of hypertension. In a testament to Aktiia's achievements, world-renowned investors like Khosla Ventures have invested a total of $30 million in our latest funding round.”

Alongside Khosla, the latest funding round - led by Zurich’s Redalpine - featured contributions from Molten, Translink Capital, Verve, and 415 Capital.

Commenting on Graf’s appointment Aktiia’s CEO Mattia Bertschi - who co-founded the startup with Solà - said: “We are proud to have Daniel join our board and executive team.

“His expertise in scaling innovative technologies will be invaluable as we continue to expand our reach and impact in the global healthcare market.

“The infusion of new capital from a stellar group of visionary investors is a testament to the confidence our partners have in our technology, and we are excited to accelerate our efforts to revolutionize hypertension management.”

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