Delft-based startup Nightbalance has raised a series B round of funding of 12.5 million euro, led by Inkef Capital (founded by pension fund ABP) and Gilde Healthcare Partners. Existing investors Thuja Capital, Health Innovation Fund and Van Herk Ventures also collaborate.
Located at YES!Delft incubator Nightbalance was founded in 2009 to help people that suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can result among other things in severe tiredness, lack of concentration and increased risk of heart failure.
Sleep apnea occurs when people lie on their back while sleeping. This is because during sleep their tongue relaxes and when in supine position falls backward easier causing the airway to be blocked. Current thinking is that 2 to 4 percent of the Western population suffers from sleep apnea.
Funding will be used for further international expansion, particularly in the US.
The solution is sleeping on the side. Nightbalance has created a device called the Sleep Position Trainer (SPT) that signals the patient during sleep to turn on his or her side without disturbing the natural sleep pattern. The SPT has approximately the same size and weight of an iPod. It is worn around the chest with an elasticized waistband.
Currently the SPT is sold in several European markets like The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
The investment allows the company to prepare for an US expansion and to further grow in Europe. Dirk Kersten (Inkef) and Pieter van der Meer Gilde Healthcare Partners were added to the board of directors. Also Geoffrey Waters, (former Respironics) takes seat on the board. Jan Keltjens (former CEO Sapiens) will be the chairman. John Lipman (ex Apnicure Inc.) will be COO for the US market.