Blood sensing start-up Zedsen hits $110m valuation after US investment

A UK technology start-up that uses electrical fields to read blood sugar levels has been valued at $110m (£80m) by US investors as it plans to start selling a wearable device to consumers next year.

London-based Zedsen said it had secured $12m in funding from a group of high net-worth investors including Nasser Kazeminy, a multimillionaire businessman, and Robert Priddy, a low-cost-airline mogul.

The company, which is chaired by the former BAE Systems President Sir Charles Masefield, has also poached Caroline Hargrove, the chief technology officer of British health-tech company Babylon.

Ms Hargrove, seen as one of Britain’s top female engineers, will become Zedsen’s chief technology officer as it seeks to start selling a personal device that will act as a personal doctor by monitoring readings such as blood glucose, pressure and sodium levels.

The company hopes its technology will become a preventative care system that could ultimately detect diabetes early or see how different foods affect metabolism, limiting the effects of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are the two biggest causes of death resulting from lifestyle choices.

How it works

Zedsen’s sensor technology involves a flexible membrane that creates a harmless electrical field, allowing it to detect the composition of tissue under the skin. The technology is also a potential candidate for detecting breast tumours, and has developed a sensor for conducting screening check-ups.

The company plans to sell a consumer-grade wearable device next year for reading blood levels, with a companion app that will see users pay a subscription for extra insights.

Zedsen, which was founded in 2015, has raised more than $20m in total and counts John Sculley, the former Apple chief executive, as a strategic advisor.

Ms Hargrove, a former engineer at the McLaren Formula One racing team, set up its applied technologies unit before joining Babylon, which provides remote consultations with doctors via text and video chat.

Her exit comes as Babylon prepares for a US listing that could value it at $4bn. Ms Hargrove said she was leaving as the company’s focus had shifted towards US expansion and signing major deals with healthcare providers.

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