FoodMarble Fundraiser For Digestive Tracker

11 Oct 2017 | 04.20 am

FoodMarble Fundraiser For Digestive Tracker

Dublin startup's AIRE monitor analyses breath for digestive problems

11 Oct 2017 | 04.20 am

Dublin medtech startup FoodMarble has raised £1.3m in fresh investment, in a round that includes Sean O’Sullivan’s VC firm SOSV, as well as UK-based IoT investor Breed Reply.

Founded in 2016 by Aonghus Shortt, Lisa Ruttledge, Peter Harte and James Brief, FoodMarble has developed a portable digestive tracker, which analyses a person’s breath to identify what foods are causing digestive problems.

The pocket-sized digestive tracking device is called AIRE and is designed to help people who struggle with digestive problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea.

According to the founders, AIRE helps figure out which foods are the problem by analysing the users’ breath to identify how well they digest different foods. When food isn’t digested fully, it ferments in the gut, releasing bio-markers that become available on the breath.

AIRE uses sensors to measure the levels of these biomarkers, while an accompanying app gives users a searchable list of foods, showing whether they are likely to be digested successfully, based on the breath readings provided.

FoodMarble has been taking pre-orders for its AIRE device, priced at €129 – the expected price when it launches fully is €159. The company said that it has taken more than 5,000 pre-orders already.

Allotment filings for FoodMarble show that new investor Breed Reply put €568,000 into the company’s Dublin-registered operating company in August 2017. SOSVentures, which is based in Cork, invested €85,000, while a US-registered arm of SOSV invested $37,500 (€32,000). Another US firm, Hive Design, invested $50,000 (€42,000) in August 2017.

Commenting on the fundraiser, FoodMarble CEO Aonghus Shortt said that it will enable the business to build a powerful platform around AIRE. “We hope this will not only make a profoundly positive impact on those faced with these issues but could yield huge cost savings for over-burdened health systems worldwide,” he continued.

Bill Liao, investment partner in SOSV, said that real-time personal diagnostic tools and technology are a huge trend in empowering people around their own health. “We are excited to see this difficult area being tackled in such an easy to use way.”

Photo: Food Marble CEO, Aonghus Shortt with his girlfriend, Grace, demonstrating the AIRE device (Pic: Alan Rowlette)

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