Sunrise, a healthtech company founded in 2015 in Belgium, has just closed a €3.25 million (US$3.7M) fundraising round. 

Led by Kurma Partners, this round of financing, in which the Vives-IUF fund linked to UCLouvain and Namur Invest also participated, has the objective of launching and internationally marketing the company’s first diagnostic product for sleep apnea, which is CE marked in Europe and under revision by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition to this €3.25 million round of funding, there is also €3.25 million in non-dilutive funding from the European Innovation Council, launched in 2021 by the European Commission to transform scientific ideas into promising innovations, and the Walloon Region.

Sunrise is developing a chin patch home sleep test solution to analyze sleep using a 3-gram sensor coupled with artificial intelligence. “We have developed the measurement of a new biosignal: we analyze mandibular movements during sleep. The sensor communicates with a mobile application. The data collected is processed thanks to artificial intelligence and can be transmitted to the doctor the next morning. This saves time and makes diagnosis easier,” says Laurent Martinot, co-founder and CEO of Sunrise, in a release. 

The device clinical validation was published in JAMA – Journal of the American Medical Association in 2020, which details the sensor’s excellent performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity. At the beginning of 2021, Sunrise was awarded a prize in the “health and well-being” category at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 in Las Vegas. 

In the United States, the solution is under revision by the FDA, while in France, the Haute Autorité de la Santé (French Health Authority) is studying the use of the Sunrise technology for faster diagnosis in 14 sleep centers. The funds raised will be used to launch and market the device in these countries.

“Thanks to the success of this fundraising, which brings together leading investors, Sunrise has reached a new stage in its development. It confirms the investors’ confidence in the team’s ability to accelerate the company’s technological development, to continue to innovate and bring to market easier to use, lighter and more comfortable technologies for sleep apnea patients worldwide,” says Martinot.

Philippe Peltier, partner at Kurma Partners, says in a release, “We are pleased to support Sunrise. The rigor and commitment of its teams made us believe in their vision very early on. Sleep-disordered breathing is a real public health issue: it is one of the main causes of serious illnesses throughout the world. Sunrise is building the future of sleep diagnosis, to make it accessible to the largest number of people and to help doctors deal with the increase in the number of sleep tests linked to growing awareness of this serious disease and the significant prevalence of sleep disorders in the population.”

Philippe Durieux, CEO of Sopartec – VIVES Funds, says in a release, “For decades, the St. Elisabeth pulmonology center (UCLouvain) has been engaged in research on sleep disorders and has been highlighting these public health issues. Meeting this unmet medical need for patients is the mission of Sunrise. This investment illustrates our desire to promote and accelerate scientific breakthroughs in this complex field by bringing together the strengths of academia, industry and public authorities.”