March 16th, 2018 - World Sleep Day - Ectosense, a digital healthcare solutions pioneer incubated at imec.istart and focused on the advancement of sleep disorder care, announces that it has secured € 1.5 million in seed funding in a round led by Saffelberg Investments, a leading Brussels-based private equity group. Several industry executives and entrepreneurs will participate in the round.
Bart Van Pee, CEO of Ectosense, comments: “After concluding the validation of our diagnostic device for sleep apnea with our clinical partners such as the Mobile Health Unit & Future Health ZOL (Genk, Belgium), our company is ready to transition into its next stage. With Saffelberg we not only bring an international private equity investor on board with a significant permanent capital base, but we also secure the invaluable hands-on guidance of entrepreneurs that have grown companies into true international groups with several thousands of employees.”
Luc Osselaer, co-investor and director at Saffelberg, continues: “Ectosense is well-positioned to capture a significant share in the growing sleep disorder management market as the company launches its first innovative product, called NightOwl®. We are thrilled to actively support this ambitious team in accelerating their venture.”
Frederik Massie, CTO of Ectosense, remarks: “Today, on World Sleep Day, we are mindful of the millions of undiagnosed sleep apnea sufferers as we expand our team to help those individuals get into proper treatment with our innovative diagnostic device, NightOwl®. Combatting the severe underdiagnosis is key to reducing the burden of untreated sleep apnea on both patients and payers, as the disease is linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic heart failure.”
Ectosense is a venture incubated in the imec.istart and Start it@KBC programs. Sven De Cleyn, imec.istart Program Manager, comments: “Ectosense is one of the strong healthcare startups we accelerate in the imec.istart portfolio within our ‘healthcare’ vertical. The follow-up funding from Saffelberg marks the first external investor to join the shareholder base, and brings the total venture funding to € 3 million. Now that Ectosense has completed its incubation phase, we look forward to helping the team on their path of growth while generating a lasting impact on society, in line with imec.istart’s mission.”
About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during the night. 1 in 5 adults suffers from a form of sleep apnea while only 10% of those patients are in treatment, leaving an estimated 200 million individuals undiagnosed. Sleep apnea takes a strong toll on the mind and body of the individual. Sufferers, for example, have a twofold increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and are 5 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. The disease’s links to other chronic disorders as well as the burdens of increased fatigue, are estimated to cost society $65-130 billion on an annual basis in the United States alone.
With sleep apnea’s prevalence linked to age and obesity, management of the disorder has turned into a growing and acute challenge.
Ectosense is a Belgium-based digital healthcare solutions company focused on the advancement of sleep disorder care and was incubated at imec as part of the imec.istart program. The company will redefine the way in which sleep apnea is clinically diagnosed with its first product, NightOwl®, eliminating the need for complex devices to make an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis. The company combines miniature biosensor devices with cloud-based data analytics powered by proprietary algorithms that turn physiological measurements into clinically actionable information.
For careers, business opportunities, and press information, contact us through www.ectosense.com.
About Saffelberg Investments
Saffelberg Investments is an independent investment company with a € 300 million capital base. It focuses on long term investments in fast-growing ventures through risk-bearing capital. Active across the globe, it participates in corporations operating in diverse sectors through equity and/or mezzanine financing. In recent years, renewable energy, real estate, and life sciences have become key focus areas. For more information, visit www.saffelberg.com.
Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The imec.istart business acceleration program supports entrepreneurs with the early development of their tech start-ups during the first 12 or more months. The goal of this incubation is to assess the feasibility of a business proof-of-concept, prepare the (commercial) launch of the first product(s) and the establishment of a start-up to drive this commercialization together with the imec.istart corporate partners.
About the Mobile Health Unit & Future Health ZOL
The Mobile Health Unit (MHU, www.mobilehealthunit.org) is a multidisciplinary research and development lab in the domain of mobile health care. The MHU is part of the Limburg Clinical Research Program, a collaboration between Hasselt University, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg (Genk), and Jessa hospital (Hasselt) focusing on patient-oriented clinical research. Future Health ZOL promotes and supports clinical studies, research, innovation and business development to improve patient care. In collaboration with the MHU, Future Health reaches out to those players developing relevant digital and mobile technology, in need of medical expertise and an in-hospital testing and validation setting.
About Start it @KBC
Start it @KBC supports and promotes entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and scalable business models, forming Belgium’s largest community of start-ups. It helps to stimulate (international) cross-pollination between more than 600 start-ups and scale-ups but also amongst investors, experienced mentors, experts from a wide variety of domains, and other global accelerators and incubators. For more information, visit www.startit.be