Uest, the Belgian startup behind the smart watch project for senior people ‘Embracelet’, raises €4.5M
Uest, the Belgian startup behind the smart watch project for senior ‘Embracelet’, has raised € 4.5 million. The seventeen shareholders initially involved now welcome 39 new shareholders. Among investors are Fidimec, the investment fund of imec, and Marc Coucke. The investment fund of Marc Coucke, Alychlo, invests € 2 million.
The smart watch that helps seniors keep their independence and aims to enable them to live in their own homes longer will be available this summer. After the official announcement of the initiative in late March, the startup had received a lot of positive reactions. In one week, the company already started pre-orders for a hundred watches. “An unexpected success,” says CEO Johan De Geyter. “We aimed to reach the hundred pre-orders for the summer and we reached this goal after only one week.”
A collective enthusiasm
Uest a was founded by 17 of the best Belgian entrepreneurs, after a workshop “initiation” in San Francisco in September 2013. This trip gave participants the desire to develop ‘something’ in the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley, that would be socially relevant. With their startup, they want to connect generations together through digital technology so that they can help each other in the best way possible. The initial capital was used to study the feasibility of the project and build a prototype Embracelet. ” Since our idea was technically feasible, we decided to double our contribution and look for people who share the same enthusiasm that we undertake. We call this a form of ‘Premium Crowdfunding ” says Johan De Geyter CEO Uest.
The expertise of imec
Imec, the research center of Leuven known for its excellence in the field of nanoelectronics, provides capital via investment funds Fidimec but also provides specialized know-how in the framework of this agreement. This allows Uest to develop its own intelligent algorithms, which then allow the Embracelet detect emergency situations. ” The investment in startup Uest fits perfectly with our strategy since it aims to translate our strength in innovation in technology solutions to improve public health and make it more sustainable , “says Luc Van den hove of imec.
The capital will be used to support international ambitions of the startup. Starting in July, the first prototypes will be delivered to customers. After Belgium, the aim is to expand the project in the Netherlands, France, Germany and England. Then follow the rest of Europe and other continents. Thanks to technology, Embracelet work automatically and at no additional cost in all European countries.
Source: Press Release