Startups Disrupting the Sleep Industry
For years technological advances have been designed to keep us stimulated and alert 24/7. But now there’s a new collection of startups disrupting the industry and want to put us to sleep. These include bedtime products, apps, therapies and monitoring devices used by consumers in their bedrooms. There’s even a mattress company on the verge of unicorn status. So it’s no surprise that over the past two years this rest-tech niche collectively accounts for more than $700 million in funding according to the online journal, TechCrunch.
In the area of consumer products, one of the biggest ones is, Casper, with over $70 million dollars in funding. This New York based venture makes comfortable, affordable mattresses and sells them direct to consumers via its webpage using an exact match, dot-com, version of its light hearted brand.
Meanwhile, the sleep tracking hardware and software company, Beddit, was founded in 2007. Based in Finland, this sleep product, venture received more than $3.5 million in funding before being acquired by Apple earlier this year.
Its core product is a thin layer of sensors placed under the customer’s mattress which collects and analyzes data on sleep length and quality. This is evaluated by monitoring heart and breathe rate, temperature, movement, snoring as well as changes in the bedroom climate.
Its brand utilizes the category killer keyword, bed, which is modified in a way that aids pronunciation and memorability partly because of its kinship with the well-known social networking brand, Reddit.
WinkHealth is a San Francisco startup founded in 2014. So far it’s raised only $120,000 in seed funding but this little venture has big aspirations. It features an app which provides an in-depth analysis of snoring by gathering data on peak events such as volume and frequency as well as breathing changes like pauses, chokes and gasps.
With almost half of Americans suffering from some form of sleep disorder, this seems like a well needed home tool. Its brand is a self-evident reference to its core mission of providing vital data as a basis for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep abnormalities.
The Dutch company, NightBalance, has created something called a “sleep position trainer.” They make a device that’s worn while sleeping and is designed to improve the user’s body positions for a deeper, more rejuvenating nocturnal experience.
Its product is based on the 2007 research conducted at the Delft University of Technology. The company has raised almost $14 million in funding and its exact match, dot-com brand is an inviting moniker that conveys an air of nighttime ease and refreshment.
Ironically, sleep deprivation is a problem even in Silicon Valley where fanaticism and all night work sessions are too often celebrated. This can be counterproductive by facilitating burnout and leading to bad decision-making. Hopefully the CEOs and employees of sleep-tech, startups are using their own technologies lest their sweet dreams of acquisition and public offerings take a nightmarish turn for the worse.