EIT Health-backed start-up gets funds for sleeping robot

Somnox closes their Series A round of financing thanks to a Dutch investment fund

A robot that helps people get to sleep without medication woke the interest of a Dutch investment fund, which put significant growth capital into Somnox, a sleep-aid start-up that has been accelerated by several EIT Health programmes since 2016.

Somnox announced on 19 May 2020 that Health Investment Partners (HIP) would provide the investment to complete the start-up’s Series A round of funding. Series A funding is the first venture capital round of funding for a start-up and a major milestone that indicates a company has a credible path to success with a viable product.

Somnox’s product is a soft robotic designed to help people sleep better. At bedtime, a person “spoons” with the device, which synchronises with the user’s breathing and helps them achieve a steady rhythm, a technique that has been shown to encourage sleep. The device senses when a person wakes up and helps to regulate their breathing so that they fall back asleep again. Other sleep aids include sounds – the device can play white noise or tell bedtime stories – and control of temperature and light, to make sure the user does not oversleep. Users can change the settings with a smartphone-based app.

The device has developed broad interest from the large group of people suffering from insomnia, and the start-up already has 4,500 customers.

According to an announcement from Somnox, the investor HIP noted the value of sleep for strengthening our immune system, which is especially important during the current pandemic.

EIT Health support

Beginning in 2016, the year in which they launched their start-up, Somnox has been supported by several EIT Health Accelerator programmes, including:

  • a 2016 Launch Lab, which allowed them to validate their product;
  • the 2016 Business Plan Aggregator; Somnox won second place in the medtech category of this training and competition programme, which was the forerunner of the European Health Catapult;
  • the 2018 Headstart grant programme.

Somnox was also presented to the media through a 2017 EIT Health event for journalists held in Paris.

Somnox was launched by a team at Delft University of Technology, an EIT Health Core Partner. Co-Founder Julian Jagtenberg said his effort to find a way to help his mother deal with insomnia led him to start a company that has proven successful.

“The new capital will enable us to accelerate our growth worldwide,” according to Jagtenberg

We can scale up faster to achieve our mission of helping 100 million people sleep better in 2030.