Bryte raises $24M and begins licensing its tech in addition to selling $8K AI-powered mattresses

Bryte today announced $ 24 million in Series A funding led by ARCHina Capital. This comes as the company moves away from selling its $ 8,000 mattress direct to consumers and instead is working with partners who will utilize Bryte’s technology in their mattresses.

Bryte says several deals are in the works.

According to the company, this pivot has always been part of the plan. They feel that through licensing, they can better accomplish the company’s goal of improving people’s sleep experience. Bryte doesn’t want to become another direct to consumer brand, but rather the underlying technology in some of the best mattresses.

The company’s original product is still available to consumers. Called the Restorative Bed, the mattress has built-in sensors and 100 computer-controlled pneumatic coils that work with the platform as it learns owners’ sleeping patterns and adjusts to best suit them — for both sleepers. Bryte says its technology enables better sleep patterns by adjusting the mattress through monitoring temperature, pressure points and room environment.

The user selects several starting points for the mattress system. The system uses micro-adjustments to fine-tune the system to the sleeper. Each night’s sleep provides the mattress with more data points, which it uses to continually adjust the settings. The company says the greatest gains happen within two-four weeks and tend to reach an optimal level within 90 days.

With this funding round, the company is adding serious cash to its mission.

ARCHina Capital lead the $ 24 million Series A funding round, with ARCHina’s co-founder Amy Huang joining Bryte’s board. The round also included investors John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe, and Dave Mooring, former president of Rambus.

Startups – TechCrunch

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Caura, the app for U.K. car owners, begins offering insurance

Caura, the U.K. startup that wants to take the hassle out of car ownership, is launching car insurance — unveiling its insurtech ambitions.

Dubbed “Caura Protect,” the new insurance product claims to reduce the cost and time taken to insure a car, building on the app’s existing car management features.

Launched earlier this year by Sai Lakshmi, who previously co-founded medication management service Echo, Caura is a mobile app designed to manage all of the vehicle-related admin that car owners endure.

Drivers are on-boarded by entering their vehicle registration number and can manage parking, tolls, MOT, road tax, congestion charges, and now insurance — a “one-stop shop” app in a similar vein to Echo. The idea is that Caura minimises car ownership admin and helps to mitigate associated penalty fines.

Caura is FCA approved to undergo various insurance activities and enables drivers to compare insurers and manage their policy within the app. The startup also says it has redesigned the signup and verification process to significantly reduce the time needed to find the best insurance policy.

“Caura instantly verifies users against official sources like the DVLA, simplifying the experience, and reducing the risk of insurance fraud,” says the company.

The idea is to offer a much more user-friendly insurance search and buying process than is typical of price comparison websites that ask for a multiple page questionnaire to be filled out before sending you — the “prospect” — to the insurer to complete your purchase. Instead, Caura claims that users can research options, select a quote, pay, and be covered to drive in around a minute (if you navigate the app really fast, I’m assuming).

The insurance cover itself is provided by six of the leading U.K. insurers, including Aviva and Markerstudy. In early 2021, Caura users will be able to pay for insurance in monthly instalments.

Asked why no one seems to have made shopping around for car insurance quite so straightforward, Lakshmi tells TechCrunch: “Startups in insurtech have been so busy finding niches that they’ve forgotten to innovate for the mainstream consumer”.

Startups – TechCrunch