Biowearable startup takes aim at diabetes epidemic

Biowearable startup takes aim at diabetes epidemic

Market news |
Biowearable system startup Levels has announced that it has raised $12 million in seed funding to bring biowearables into the mainstream and improve metabolic health by promoting behavior change based on personal data.
By Rich Pell

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The company’s biowearable technology provides real-time glucose data to enable users to optimize diet, improve performance, and accelerate recovery. In the same way fitness trackers are commonly worn to quantify physical activity and exercise, says the company, it measures the impact of one’s diet and lifestyle on metabolic health by pairing continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology with intelligent software.

“You shouldn’t need a PhD in nutrition or human physiology to know what to eat for lunch,” says Josh Clemente, Levels Founder and President. “Levels is the first product that takes the guesswork out of daily lifestyle choices with personalized, objective data. By leveraging continuous glucose monitoring, Levels helps users close the loop between overall health and daily choices around food, exercise, sleep, and stress management to support long-term metabolic health.”

Its technology, says the company, is designed to help reverse the trend of metabolic dysfunction among Americans, over 120 million of whom have prediabetes or diabetes, according to reports. And, says the company, 84% of people with prediabetes don’t even know they have it.

“Optimizing metabolic function can improve energy, endurance, memory, mood, and cognitive performance,” says Dr. Casey Means, Co-founder of Levels. “Seven of the 10 leading causes of death in the US are strongly related to metabolic dysfunction. Levels helps you improve metabolic fitness by alerting you to foods that negatively impact glucose levels. Armed with this information, you can take control of your metabolic health and make healthier lifestyle decisions.”

The company’s month-long Levels program includes two 14-day CGM sensors and access to the Levels app, which provides real-time analysis on how food, exercise, and other lifestyle decisions are impacting the user’s health. Currently in a closed beta, the company says it has a 50,000+ person waitlist and will be available for consumer purchase in early 2021.

The seed funding round was led by a16z, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms whose portfolio includes Airbnb, Facebook, Instagram, Lyft, Pinterest, Slack, Stripe and Waymo. The round also included participation from angel investors including Marc Randolph (co-founder and first CEO of Netflix), Dick Costolo (former CEO of Twitter), Michael Arrington (Founder of TechCrunch), Matt Dellavedova (NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers) and Laurel Touby (Supernode Ventures).

Jeff Jordan, Managing Partner, a16z says, “We invested in Levels because metabolic dysfunction is an incredibly important problem, and their rate of execution on solving this problem is on par with the best companies we’ve seen. “Consumers are increasingly health conscious, and increasingly leverage real tech tools and data to improve their health. Levels provides a veritable ‘divining rod’ for improved metabolic health.”

Vijay Pande, PhD and General Partner, a16z adds, “The two most fundamental levers for our health – diet and exercise – remain shrouded in generalities and unrealistic advice. By harnessing CGMs, wearables, data science, and the latest advances in biology and medicine, Levels provides critical information to help consumers take control of diet and exercise, while making real, fundamental improvements in their health. Preventing metabolic dysfunction is one of the 21st century’s greatest health challenges, and Levels addresses the epidemic head on.”

Levels

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