Oura is disrupting the fitness wearables market with its fitness ring, offering an alternative to the crowded smart-watch market. The ring has caught the attention of many professional athlete leagues and healthcare researchers alike, with notable features like temperature monitoring boosting its popularity amid COVID-19 health concerns.
Oura’s founders, Petteri Lahtela, Kari Kivela, and Markku Koskela first launched a sleep tracking ring in 2015. Its initial focus was on the daily habit of sleeping, as low-quality sleep is a common denominator in several health-related issues. Now in 2021, Oura is progressing in the fitness wearables industry.
The pandemic has led many major leagues to implement the ring including the National Basketball Association, the Women's National Basketball Association, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
The ring has also been studied by the University of California San Francisco, where researchers have published peer-review studies on the ring’s temperature monitor. It has also been studied for illness detection at West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.
One of Oura’s main goals is to improve health transparency and to give people control over their health journeys. Forerunner Ventures Managing Director Eurie Kim said, “This year has shined a spotlight on gaps in our healthcare industry, and the increasing need for each of us to take control over our own health. Oura is emerging as the trusted leader…in this space by empowering people with personalized data that provides actionable insights for health improvement.”
Oura’s innovations have not gone unnoticed, and the company has recently announced a $100 million Series C funding round. The new funding round was led by investors Chernin Group and Elysian Park, bringing the company's total funding to $148 million. Other investors include Forerunner Ventures, Square, MSD Capital, Marc Benioff, Lifeline Ventures, Metaplanet Holdings, and Next Ventures. New investors who participated in the latest round include Temasek, JAZZ Venture Partners, and Eisai.
The funding will go toward research and development for both hardware and software. Oura has also hired Shyamal Patel as the Head of Science, Tommi Heinonen as Site Leader, and Daniel Welch has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. As many investors and professional sports users support Oura, the company is sure to progress even further in 2021 with its unique wearable devices.