FoodMarble raises €2.1m to scale digestive health tech

16 Dec 2020

FoodMarble CEO Aonghus Shortt. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

The Dublin-based start-up will use the funding to expand into new markets and further develop its personal digestive tracker.

An Irish start-up developing digital digestive health tools has just raised €2.1m in seed funding.

FoodMarble’s seed investment round was led by Business Venture Partners, with participation from SOSV, Breed Reply, Delta Partners and Enterprise Ireland. The company has also launched its first crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to raise further investment.

The fresh funding will support continued expansion into new markets, as well as research and development projects. This includes further developing FoodMarble’s Aire device, which is a personal digestive tracker.

Aire is a connected device that can be used at home, and aims to help people with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food intolerances to monitor their digestive health. The handheld device uses breath analysis and a connected app to help users track their response to different foods and optimise their diet.

“Irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues are a daily problem for millions of people around the world,” said Elliott Griffin, managing director at Business Venture Partners.

“The team at FoodMarble have developed an innovative and easy-to-use solution that will allow people to find out what they should be eating. We’re excited to be supporting FoodMarble as they continue their strong growth and continue to help those struggling with digestive issues live better and more comfortable lives every day.”

‘Just getting started’

Dublin-based FoodMarble, which was founded in 2016, was included in Siliconrepublic.com’s list of food and agritech start-ups to watch in 2020.

The company launched its Aire product in 2018 and has sold around 20,000 units to date. It has just partnered with Best Buy in Canada, and plans to roll out its devices in a number of stores in North America in 2021.

FoodMarble raised €1.7m in funding in 2017 and announced in September of this year that it had secured a further €1.2m.

The company’s CEO, Aonghus Shortt, started the business with Lisa Rutledge and Peter Harte after seeing the impact that digestive issues had on his fiancé’s life.

“Digestive symptoms can be profoundly disruptive to normal life, and we’re seeking to end that,” Shortt said. “Our mission is to help people cut through the complexity and uncertainty to find ‘their’ foods.”

He added that the company is “just getting started” and that the seed funding and the crowdfunding campaign will help continue this work.

Alan Hobbs, manager of high-potential start-ups in the areas of industrial and life sciences at Enterprise Ireland, said FoodMarble is an example of the “type of ambitious start-up with an innovative solution” that the agency wants to support.

“Research-driven solutions targeting huge addressable markets with unmet needs have the greatest chance of success and this funding round will put the team in a strong position to scale their business and achieve their global ambition,” he added.

Disclosure: SOSV is an investor in Silicon Republic

Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com