HealthQ Technologies, a Stellenbosch based digital wellness start-up, has confirmed the successful closing of a seed investment round by local venture capital fund 4Di Capital and a consortium of some of the most influential global families.
This comes weeks after the announcement of the Oppenheimer family’s investment into 4Di Capital’s venture fund for South African technology startups.
Rachel Slack, a member of the Oppenheimer family, has played a pivotal role in the formation of the consortium. Teaming up with the founding investor of HealthQ, US based venture capitalist Laurie Olivier, they have carefully constructed around this new generation South African start-up a unique global combination of influential families from the West- and East-coast US, Europe and South Africa.
Olivier, who also serves as the chairman of HealthQ, commented: “The combination of capable, youthful energy with experienced investors, in conjunction with the explosive growth at the cross section of the global digital health and wellness sectors, comprises the right ingredients for great success.”
The HealthQ team is led by CEO, Dr Riaan Conradie, a University of Stellenbosch PhD with training in computational systems biology. Conradie is reported to be the inspiration behind HealthQ’s mission to develop, test and industrialise new and disruptive digital wellness technologies.
Entrepreneurial spirit drives projects
Slack, who has joined the HealthQ board said: “The HealthQ team and mission represent exactly the type of themes that excite me – exceptionally talented young entrepreneurs keen to apply their energies to the betterment of society.”
While the company is still keeping its initial projects under the radar due to confidentiality arrangements with international partners, they have confirmed some details of the first project.
Disruptive digital wellness technology
LifeQ, a pioneering digital consumer wellness product that is being tested and industrialised by HealthQ, will be able to determine the amount of calories and type of food that is being metabolised by the user in real-time.
Through constant electronic monitoring, both the energy uptake from food consumption and the user’s energy expenditure from vital functions and exercise will be accurately tracked, without the need for manual data logging and intervention, or the use of inaccurate proxies such as accelerometers or GPS.
The LifeQ technology will be tested and improved in South Africa using the world’s first open source metabolic chamber, a rare and sophisticated scientific facility recently unveiled by the HealthQ team in Stellenbosch, where they designed and constructed it in record time and at a fraction of the typical expense.
Conradie commented: “The LifeQ technology also aims to monitor common wellness goals, such as healthy eating habits and body fat loss, with a sensitivity unattainable by a regular bathroom scale.
“LifeQ will also provide the means to monitor sleep, stress, and advanced fitness parameters like EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption or commonly referred to as afterburn) with high accuracy and in real-time”.
Prominent investors on board
The size of the seed investment round has not been disclosed nor the identity of all the investors.
However, the company has confirmed that key investors include:
- Rachel Slack
- 4Di Capital
- The Oppenheimer family
- The Reinet fund chaired by Johann Rupert
- US investor, Thomas S. Kaplan
- Kristina Plattner who holds a PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Cape Town.