Dublin health-tech start-up secures €650k investment

4 Apr 2013

(From left) David Reid, Bank of Ireland; Richard Watson, Dublin BIC; Darran Hughes, CEO, Zinc Software; Helen McAuliffe, Enterprise Ireland; and Dawn Guiney, Kernel Capital

Zinc Software, a Dublin-based company that is developing next-generation heart sensors, has secured €650,000 in an investment round to bring its first product to market. The company is developing a biofeedback gaming platform for iOS and Android devices.

The investment in Zinc has been provided by Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund, the AIB Seed Capital Fund that’s co-managed by Dublin BIC, Enterprise Ireland and PCH International. Zinc is the first European company to partner with PCH International as part of its Accelerator programme.

PCH International CEO Liam Casey described the products that Zinc is developing as being “game changers” for the health and wellness market. He said PCH will be working with the company to help it achieve scale and bring its new product to market.

Zinc is pioneering a wireless biosensor, termed ‘Zen’, that clips onto an ear lobe. Once it is turned on, this sensor starts transmitting high-resolution heart waveform data to an iPhone, iPad or Android device.

According to the company, the Zen sensor system relies on heart rate variability biofeedback, a clinically proven method to significantly reduce both blood pressure and the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol in the blood.

Zinc is planning to use the investment to drive its go-to-market strategy for the Zen product in the US. The company is also planning to develop a software development kit programme to enable licensing partners to integrate Zinc’s heart sensor into their own health apps.

Darran Hughes, CEO at Zinc Software, described the Zen product as being able to gamify meditative breathing.

“In the near future we will rapidly see the growth in body-oriented sensors and apps which will make healthy living fun and engaging,” he said.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic