FoodMarble seeks push into North America with €1.2m funding

11 Sep 2020374 Views

Image: FoodMarble

FoodMarble, a Dublin start-up developing breath-testing devices for people with IBS, has raised €1.2m.

A start-up described as “very much a personal project” by its CEO has secured €1.2m in venture capital funding. As reported by the Irish Independent, Dublin-based FoodMarble secured the funding to further develop its breath-testing device for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a condition that affects around one in eight people globally, including CEO Aonghus Shortt’s fiancée.

“Once the product was developed, we knew that we had something very powerful and we wanted to offer it to others as an aid for them to be able to get on with everyday life comfortably,” he said.

The funding came from the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), Enterprise Ireland, SOSV and Delta Partners, and will be used to fund the start-up’s North American ambitions and R&D.

FoodMarble’s Aire device uses breath analysis to enable users to measure how well they absorb different types of foods, so they can identify what they can eat without discomfort and track the results using an accompanying app.

“Along with our expansion in the US, we are continually innovating to ensure that we retain our position as the market leader for personal breath-testing devices,” Shortt said. “With the support and advice of our business angels, we are well on target to achieve sales of €4m by the end of 2021.”

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With its devices already on sale on Amazon and soon to launch in physical stores in Canada, the company has sold more than 15,000 units to date. As part of its R&D efforts, the company is looking to partner with US hospitals.

This, it said, could ease the current strain placed on healthcare centres as a result of Covid-19, allowing people to test for potential food intolerances at home.

Last year, researchers from the University of Auckland found that FoodMarble’s device successfully detected malabsorption of lactose and milk when put to the test against gold-standard clinical machines.

Commenting on this latest funding, HBAN investment consultant Niamh Sterling said: “FoodMarble’s impressive sales in its first year of trading instantly impressed our investors. By uncovering a worldwide market gap, the potential for growth is huge.”

FoodMarble, founded in 2016, was included in Siliconrepublic.com’s 2020 list of Irish food and agritech start-ups making serious headway both nationally and internationally.

Disclosure: SOSV is an investor in Silicon Republic

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com