- MIT-spinoff company Bloomer Tech announced it raised $3 million in a seed round of funding led by Material Impact
Bloomer Tech, an MIT-spinoff company that is commercializing a clinical-grade heart monitoring “Smart Bra” for cardiovascular disease — announced it has raised $3 million in a seed round of funding led by Material Impact. One Brave Idea and several prominent angel investors which include Boston Scientific co-founder John Abele also joined the round.
Bloomer is taking on the leading cause of death in women with the world’s first electrocardiogram device that looks and feels like a bra. And by embedding patented medical-grade fabric sensors and machine learning algorithms into a garment that women wear every day, Bloomer provides users and doctors with comprehensive access to heart health data.
The femtech sector has seen tremendous growth as of late with nearly $1 billion of funding going into femtech-related startups last year alone. And Material Impact — which is a Boston-based VC fund leading Bloomer’s round — sees this investment as core to its thesis of translating products enabled by materials innovation into companies that solve real-world problems.
Last year, Material Impact led the $9M Series A of femtech startup NextGen Jane. And Adam Sharkawy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Material Impact and a former cardiovascular healthcare executive, will be serving as Bloomer’s Chair of the Board going forward.
Bloomer investor One Brave Idea was established to pursue unconventional scientific approaches in order to make major advances in the fight against coronary heart disease. And Dr. Calum MacRae who leads the One Brave Idea team is the Vice-Chair of Scientific Innovation for the Department of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. One Brave Idea is a five-year $85 million research and innovation initiative co-founded by American Heart Association and Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) with significant support from AstraZeneca and pillar support from Quest Diagnostics to support Dr. MacRae.
Bloomer already saw early traction with women’s heart programs at leading hospitals in the Boston area. And with paid pilots planned for 2020, Bloomer will use its seed funding to expand its pilot program, collect key clinical data and further develop the commercial product and user experience.
It is with an emphasis on the invisible user experience and a healthy relationship with technology that made Bloomer fitting to participate in the “Project Entrepreneur” accelerator at Thrive Global in 2018. At the accelerator, Chong met Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global and Advisor to Bloomer — who was instrumental in helping the MIT-spinoff turn its big idea into a business.
Bloomer Tech and its founders have been supported by the MIT Legatum Center and have been part of MIT’s deltaV accelerator at the Martin Trust Center, the MIT Integrated Design and Management program, and the MIT Computational Cardiovascular Research Group.
“As women in STEM, we are keenly aware that digital health and AI tools are tuned to the people who are represented in the datasets. So when we realized that women have been woefully underrepresented in clinical research, especially in cardiovascular diseases, we had to take action. At Bloomer we are eliminating healthcare imbalances by replacing an uncomfortable piece of plastic with a beautiful piece of clothing that empowers women to feel sexy instead of sick. This seamless and comfortable monitoring experience prevents algorithm biases and unlocks new, sex-specific digital biomarkers that can more accurately provide personalized care for patients.”
– Alicia Chong Rodriguez, CEO of Bloomer
“Bloomer addresses some gaping needs in cardiovascular health, one of the largest spaces in healthcare overall. There has been little innovation in the past several decades in clinical grade remote cardiac monitoring. Bloomer’s current soft electronics technology combined with its elegant form factor should allow for effective remote monitoring that patients will actually wear. In addition, the high-fidelity data they will collect will help to fill a large void in female-specific datasets, which may drive better cardiovascular therapies for women. At Material Impact, we aim to invest in category-creating companies poised to solve some of the world’s largest problems. Alongside other investments in femtech, we are dedicated to building a focus in women’s health.”
-Adam Sharkawy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Material Impact
“Our mission at One Brave Idea is to change how coronary heart disease is detected, managed and prevented. To do that we need to engage with patients in new ways, breaking down the traditional barriers between patient care, research and their daily lives. Bloomer’s groundbreaking technology has the capacity to monitor and identify new biologic mechanisms that contribute to heart disease. We are really excited to work with Bloomer and their transformative patient-centered platform.”
-Dr. Calum MacRae
“Thrive Global’s mission is to end the stress and burnout epidemic with sustainable, science-based solutions that unlock human potential and enhance well-being. Bloomer is arming women with the tools they need to take their heart health into their own hands. It’s when we can understand how our lifestyle choices impact our health outcomes that we truly have the power to change our lives for the better.”