Fitness ring maker Oura raises $100M

It’s been a wild couple of years for Oura. Last year, in particular, proved to be a major driver for the wearable fitness manufacturer. With the pandemic bringing professional sports to a screeching halt in 2020, a number of major leagues have adopted the ring, including the NBA, WNBA, UFC and NASCAR.

The company has also been making a major push into health research courtesy of UCSF, which has published peer-review studies around the ring’s temperature monitor. That feature in particular has made it a big draw for the aforementioned leagues, as temperature spikes could point to larger issues, including the early stages of COVID-19.

Today the company is announcing a $100 million Series C. The round, led by The Chernin Group and Elysian Park (the Dodgers’ investment arm), brings the wearable company’s total funding up to $148.3 million. New investors include Temasek, JAZZ Venture Partners and Eisai, joining existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Square, MSD Capital, Marc Benioff, Lifeline Ventures, Metaplanet Holdings and Next Ventures.

The company initially set itself apart with its form factor, joining a crowded field that largely revolved around the wrist. Clearly, however, it’s come into its own over the last few years. To date, it’s sold more than 500,000 rings.

“The wearables industry is transitioning from activity trackers to health platforms that can improve people’s lives,” CEO Harpreet Singh Rai said in a press release tied to the news. “Oura focused first on sleep because it’s a daily habit, and lack of sleep has been linked to worsening health conditions including diabetes, cardiac disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, poor mental health, and more.”

The company says the round will go toward R&D (both hardware and software development) and hiring, including additional marketing and customer experience. The round also sees the hiring of a number of key roles, including head of Science, Shyamal Patel; site leader Tommi Heinonen and Daniel Welch, who has been promoted to CFO.

“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,” Forerunner Managing Director Eurie Kim said in the release. “Oura is emerging as the trusted leader and community in the space by empowering people with personalized data that provides actionable insights for health improvement.”