Lumo Bodytech has raised $10 million in Series B funding, with intentions to build a platform to integrate real-time motion tracking technology into apparel.
The Palo Alto-based company has previously created the Lumo Lift posture coach, which is a wearable sensor that alerts the wearer to poor posture, and Lumo smart shorts that act as a “running coach” with a sensor that measures metrics including cadence, bounce, ground contact time, braking, pelvic rotation and stride length.
Lumo Bodytech chief executive officer and cofounder Monisha Perkash said the funding will allow the company to create more apparel for a variety of functions in a range of styles going forward. Although the company’s expertise is in real-time motion-tracking of body movements, she said, fashion “needs to be an important part of making wearables truly wearable.
“We see the future of tech to be invisible — something that should be seamlessly integrated into everyday life. Wearing clothes is an everyday habit.”
She said the technology, which uses an imbedded sensor connected to a mobile application, could, for example, help in golf, cycling, yoga and other physical activities that require proper movement and biomechanics.
The running shorts are available for preorder, at $109, and “feel like you’re wearing regular shorts,” Perkash said. “People don’t want to wear tech. They want to wear clothes that are comfortable and beautiful and are a self-expression.”
While Lumo Bodytech employs scientists on staff, it does not have a fashion designer. Instead, Perkash said it has a partnership with apparel manufacturer MAS Holdings, which works with brands including Nike, Lululemon, Victoria’s Secret and Ralph Lauren, and which also participated in the round of funding.
WuXi Healthcare Ventures led this recent round, with previous investors Madrona Venture Group, Innovation Endeavors, AME Cloud Ventures and Innovalue Capital Ltd. In addition to MAS Holdings, SanDisk founder Eli Harari joined as a partner and investor. Previously, Lumo has raised more than $6 million in equity financing and more than $2 million through crowdfunding.
The theme of “smart clothing” that offers connectivity and functionality of some kind offers a new interpretation of the buzzy idea of “wearable tech.” In October, for example, MasterCard announced a project that would allow any clothing or accessories item to become a payment device. Google is working with Levi’s on Project Jacquard, which is creating cloth made with conductive fibers, and Ralph Lauren began offering a PoloTech “smart shirt” in August.
“This is just the beginning of wearables 2.0,” Perkash said.