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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Better Zzzzzs Focus of Two Young App-Based Firms

Two companies are tapping into concerns about getting enough quality sleep in a fast-paced world with recently launched apps designed to help people get a better night’s rest.

Irvine-based Bodymatter’s app monitors sleeping habits for the purpose of general well-being, and Laguna Niguel-based biometric assessment company Snore Metrics LLC offering monitors snoring via the iPhone.

This column reported in July on a new Garden Grove-based mobile nap service called Nappify that rents trailer “nap pods” to sleep-starved students, professionals and others on the go.

Did You Sleep Well?

Bodymatter was founded in July by Aaron Giroux, who serves as executive chairman, and Amir Banifatemi, the founder and managing partner of Newport Beach-based early-stage venture fund K5 Ventures.

The digital therapeutics company develops health tools and programs. It was founded “with the idea that the future of medicine lays at the convergence of the traditional medical system and the emerging consumer health space,” Giroux said via email.

Bodymatter’s Sleep Watch app, which sells for $4.99, works by monitoring patterns overnight. It automatically monitors estimated sleep time using motion and pulse sensors built into the Apple Watch by continually detecting heart rate and motion data.

It also follows sleep quality and awake time. And the app allows users to manually adjust their auto-generated sleep time to reflect a more precise time they believe they fell asleep or woke up.

Sleep Watch automatically sends users a morning sleep briefing via a “push notification” on their Apple Watch or iPhone.

“We believe that digital health applications and wearables have a bright future in helping users achieve positive health outcomes,” Giroux said. “We chose to focus on sleep for a first application as it plays a critical role in our overall health, including our cardiovascular health.”

Cardiovascular data analysis is one of the company’s core skills, so it’s also studying the relationship between sleep and heart health, he added.

Sleep Watch isn’t a substitute for professional medical care, and the app’s results are purely estimates, Giroux said.

The company’s raised an undisclosed amount of funding from K5 Ventures and local angel investors. Banifatemi is “an integral advisor to the company,” Giroux said.

Snore Monitor

Meanwhile, Snore Metrics was founded by Jimmy Fallon, a 21-year-old University of Michigan student, to help raise awareness of sleep disorders based on a study by Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medical Center that found 93% of people suffering from sleep-related issues have undiagnosed sleeping disorders.

Its Snore Report app differs from Sleep Watch in that it requires only an iPhone and is free of charge. It also can be paired with a Fitbit wearable device to incorporate heartbeat data.

The app works by recording a person’s sleep, using algorithms developed by Snore Metrics engineers to filter out the sound waves from other noises, such as a TV, so that only sounds made by the sleeper are analyzed. Users are able to enter various factors they believe may have caused their snoring and can determine over several nights how the factors impacted their snoring by observing any patterns. 

The app provides a “snore score assessment” every morning, along with data and analytics.

Snore Report, like Sleep Watch, isn’t meant to diagnose sleeping disorders.

“If someone uses Snore Report and finds that their snoring is more severe than they anticipated, they may want to consider looking at more thorough assessment solutions, such as a home sleep test or an overnight sleep study,” Fallon said via email.

The company is working with Robert Lebby, a Los Angeles-based, board-certified sleep doctor, to further develop the app’s accuracy and analytics, said Dana Point native Fallon, who’s a college senior studying business.

VC Database

Winchester, Mass.-based Massinvestor/VC News Daily has launched a revised database that includes more than 300 venture capital firms, private equity firms, angel investment groups and accelerators in Southern California, including Orange County.

Subscribers get a year’s access to the online database and can target investment firms by firm type, industry focus, stage specialty, and location.

The database includes an e-book, along with a spreadsheet containing the contact information of nearly 1,500 individual Southern California investment partners.

Michael Stern, the database’s editor and publisher, has been covering the venture capital and private equity scene for over a decade, having worked at Fidelity Investments and Merrill Lynch.

The offering is sold exclusively through the website at https://massinvestor.3dcartstores.com/SoCal.

Stern is founder and chief executive of Massinvestor/ VC News, a publisher of venture capital and private equity databases for regions including Silicon Valley, Massachusetts and Texas.

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