H|T: The Healthtech Times – Lululemon’s failed attempt at becoming a tech company

A man works out in front of a mirror with a digital display
Plus: Felix and Eli raise new rounds.

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Felix expands into more complex categories of care following $18 million Series B (BETAKIT)

After building out its own prescription fulfillment warehouses and closing $18 million CAD in previously unannounced Series B funding last summer, Felix has begun moving into more complex categories of care, including weight loss, coaching, and therapy.

Lululemon tried to become a tech company. It didn’t work out

Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon and still its largest individual shareholder, characterized Lululemon’s tech gambit as a short-term decision driven by shareholder pressure: “They knew nothing about the product, they knew nothing about how they were actually going to sell it.”

Mirror works for people who are time constrained or isolated but not for those who can access a studio, Wilson argued. “The target market for Lululemon is a thirty-two-year-old single professional, and as soon as COVID ended, those people were bound to go and leave the home technical space.”


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Eli raises $5 million to make at-home hormone testing for women more accessible (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based healthtech startup Eli, which provides solutions for saliva-based hormone testing, has raised $5 million CAD in all-primary seed funding.

Eli aims to make measuring hormones easier by following three steps: collect a tiny amount of saliva, insert the test in Eli’s palm-sized reader, and get results in minutes on the accompanying mobile app.

Ex-Magellan Diagnostics execs charged with concealing lead-test defect (REUTERS)

Three former executives of medical device company Magellan Diagnostics concealed a malfunction in the company’s lead-testing devices that caused tests to underestimate the level of lead in people's blood, U.S. prosecutors in Boston said in announcing criminal charges on Wednesday.

VCCI-backed Kensington Capital Partners secures $158 million first close for third venture fund (BETAKIT)

Now over halfway towards its $290 million target, Kensington is the first of four fund managers selected by the Government of Canada's Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative to announce it has closed its financing.

With its first close, Kensington Venture Fund III (KVFIII) surpassed the $150 million size of Kensington's last venture fund. KVFIII will serve primarily as a fund-of-funds, backing Canadian venture capital funds, with a quarter of its capital reserved for direct investments in tech startups.

Digital health pioneer Pear Therapeutics files for bankruptcy (STAT)

The road has run out for Pear Therapeutics: the pioneering digital therapeutics company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday and will seek to sell off its assets to pay back its creditors.

Pear will terminate 170 employees, or approximately 92% of its workforce, and will continue to operate in limited capacity with 15 employees as it seeks a buyer.

Meet the Canadian startups participating in Y Combinator’s Winter 2023 Demo Day (BETAKIT)

Around six Canadian-related startups are participating in Y Combinator’s Winter 2023 cohort, including the healthtech focused Finni Health and Modulari-T.

Montréal-based biotech startup Modulari-T has designed a new family of synthetic genes that the startup claims can reprogram cells to better sense their environment and modify their behaviour accordingly, while Finni Health’s platform provides multiple tools for autism care providers such as scheduling and billing, as well as marketing and client support.

‘We are very close to being a profitable business’: Kry’s founder on doing more with fewer people (SIFTED)

Stockholm-based Kry, a company which offers users the opportunity to speak with clinicians in a matter of minutes, says it has delivered more than 200m patient interactions to date — making it one of Europe’s leaders in digital healthcare. It’s also one of the best funded, having raised more than €700m.

Kry’s founder and CEO, Johannes Schildt, joined Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast to chat through layoffs, the path to profitability and what’s next in healthtech.

Nimble Science raises $2.7 million to collect data from previously inaccessible regions of small intestine (BETAKIT)

Healthtech startup Nimble Science has raised $2.7 million CAD to unlock critical intestinal health data through its ingestible device that is capable of collecting samples from the previously out-of-reach small intestine.

Nimble CEO and co-founder Sabina Bruehlmann said the new funding will go toward using the device to build datasets to prove out the startup’s technology.

Handheld X-ray device maker OXOS Medical scores $23M

Medical imaging company OXOS Medical scored $23 million in Series A funding from Intel Capital and Parkway Venture Capital, bringing its total raise to $45 million.

The medtech company will use the funds to speed up product innovation and expand its reach globally.

How startups can access an untapped pool of talent in Canada (BETAKIT)

Pablo Listingart, Executive Director of tech skills school ComIT, explains what founders need to be aware of when hiring rural employees.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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