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  • Art Raymond

Pulse Oximetry Technology : Baby sock monitor firm Owlet raises $24 million in new funding

Baby sock monitor company Owlet announced a $24 million Series B funding round last week, led by Seattle-area based Trilogy Equity Partners.

The funding, which included participation from Utah venture capital firm Pelion Venture Partners, will help Owlet expand its product line and move into international markets. In a statement, Owlet CEO and co-founder Kurt Workman hinted that the company may be looking to not only expand beyond its $300 Smart Sock 2 but also create new offerings with better price points.

“As a company of parents, it is important to us to bring innovative technology into a family’s everyday life," Workman said. "This new round of funding will enable us to expand our product line, looking at ways we can support the health and wellness of families at all stages, from pregnancy on, as well as increase the brand’s availability internationally and improve our accessibility and affordability."

Back in 2013, Workman and his partners began working on a method to adapt pulse oximetry technology — like the thing surgeons attach to the end of your finger to monitor oxygen levels — to be wireless and effective for an infant.

What followed is a string of successes, first by winning numerous entrepreneurial competitions and the cash prizes that come with them. Those early competition prizes helped fund a prototype that led to eventually garnering $2 million in seed funding to launch the product in the fall of 2015.

The latest version monitors heart rate and oxygen levels while connected to an in-home monitor that emits warnings if levels move into unsafe zones and can stream the data in real time to a smartphone app.

The new investment comes on top of almost $21 million the company has raised through previous seed and Series A funding rounds. Trilogy Equity Partners managing director Amy McCullough, who has also joined Owlet's board of directors, lauded the company for its success with a product that she said has a positive impact on the lives of its customers.

“As an investor, it is rare to get the chance to invest in a company that has both the potential to be tremendously successful while simultaneously delivering a product that has the ability to make such a substantive and positive impact on people’s lives," McCullough said. "Owlet is on a journey to achieve both of these objectives and at Trilogy, we couldn’t be more excited to lead this round and take the next step in Owlet’s journey together.

"Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to witness the impact that Owlet’s Smart Sock has made in the lives of countless families, as they’ve created a new category in infant home monitoring while placing the power of information into the hands of parents.”

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