Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sleep tracker startup Hello says Goodbye

Another crowdfunded startup is no more. This time, it’s San Francisco-based Hello.

The company published a farewell blog post on Monday, writing that the company “will soon be shutting down” after spending the past few weeks looking for a buyer for the startup’s core sleep tracker product. While Hello says it’s still focused on finding a home for its technology, the company acknowledge that as of now, there are many questions to which it has no answers.

“The past few months have been incredibly tough, especially on the team of Hello,” the company wrote. “For that I’m incredibly sorry.”

Hello sold a sleep tracker called Sense — a stylish, white orb that glows and responds to voice commands. Sense works with the Sleep Pill, a smaller device that clips to the user’s pillow and uses multiple sensors to track his or her sleep sleep. In the morning, the user can see the sleep data on the accompanying app. Sense also can wake sleepers up during the lightest phase of their sleep, helping them feel less groggy in the morning. And it can play calming ambient sounds to help the user fall asleep at night.

Hello raised $2.4 million from a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, scoring pledges from more than 19,000 backers. The campaign offered early backers a Sense and Sleep Pill for $99, lower than the regular pre-order price of $129. Hello also raised $40.5 million in venture capital funding, according to Crunchbase.

Axios, which reported the news of Hello’s demise Monday, says the company held “fire sale” talks with Fitbit but couldn’t reach a deal. There was a moving truck outside Hello’s office Monday, Axios reported.

Photo: Hello’s Sense sleep tracker, as seen in a screen shot of a Hello blog post. (Hello)

June 13, 2017 at 10:32PM

from Marisa Kendall