Conduit Market Maps: The Next Wave of Wearables

The next wave of wearable adoption will be fueled by the wellness-driven consumer, specifically consumers operating in high-output environments like athletics, startups, and corporate tech. As of last year, wellness spend accounted for almost 5% of global economic activity.

This rise in purchasing behavior is tightly correlated with a more informed and quantifiable search for control amidst macro uncertainty.

More specifically, consumers are looking to upgrade their health outcomes via accurate and passive biometric tracking, layered on top of real-time access to an accountability partner. In this report, we’ll focus on the three cohorts building the future of wearable tech: fitness, sleep, and nutrition.

Fitness wearables represent the first major wave of biometric technology, specifically due to their early adoption across a broad swathe of customer demographics and psychographics. As a result of the fitness industry’s mainstream appeal, this cohort was first to market and retain comparably outsized market shares in their respective verticals compared to the later cohorts.

Fitbit is dedicated to transforming lives by augmenting health and fitness data in real-time. By designing products that seamlessly weave into people’s day-to-day, the company prioritizes a holistic approach to fitness with products spanning smartwatches, exercise trackers, and scales.

Garmin engineers wearable technology that enhances its mission to create superior products for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sports industries. Across the wearable landscape, Garmin offers the widest range of products and has been operating for 30+ years.

Finally, among the fitness-oriented cohort, the Apple Watch is a clear winner. Apple prides itself on helping patients identify early warning signs of underlying health issues as it furthers its mission to become the central HealthOS for Apple customers across the globe.

While each of the companies in this cohort offers a range of quantitative health metrics, they collectively prioritize the role of sleep in its contribution to overall health. Across both the startup and professional sports circuits, this handful of companies has quickly moved into mainstream discourse as a result of shared interests in the high-performance benefits of quality sleep.

Eight is the premier sleep fitness company that leverages innovation, technology, and personal biometrics to restore individuals to their peak energy levels each morning. In late 2019, Eight raised another $40 million in financing from Founders Fund, Craft Ventures, and Khosla.

Whoop is on a mission to unlock human performance, empowering its users to perform at a higher level through a deeper understanding of their bodies and daily lives. In late 2019, Whoop raised another $55 million led by Foundry Group to further expand its product pipeline.

Among the leaders in this space, Oura thoroughly impressed our team: a smart ring hardware company designed to help you get more restful sleep and perform optimally. The company uses advanced tech to monitor a user’s body pulse, temperature, and movement to deliver a holistic picture of their health. Oura raised a $28 million Series B back in March of 2020.

With its most recent round of financing, led by Forerunner Ventures, Oura will be laser-focused on its actionable insights component based on real-time user data. More specifically, the brand plans to collaborate with academic researchers to ensure the accuracy and utility of product measurements and ongoing guidance between users and the Oura medical team.

Over the past decade, metabolic dysfunction has become an increasingly worrying problem for the modern workforce. As of 2019, over 70% of U.S. adults were overweight. At the same time, over 84 million Americans had prediabetes. Across the wearable space, personalized diet and real-time nutrition recommendations have moved into mainstream dialogue, prompting a host of startups to compete for early market share in the growing industry.

Dexcom is transforming diabetes care and management by providing continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology to help patients and healthcare professionals better manage diabetes. The company’s mission is to simplify and improve diabetes management globally.

Oxitone offers the world’s first wrist-sensor pulse oximetry monitor and digital continuous care Saas platform. Unlike conventional pulse oximeters, Oxitone 1000M is the first FDA-cleared wrist-sensor health monitor that works without a bulky fingertip probe.

Among the nutrition and diet-focused cohort, Levels stood out: a continuous glucose monitor that helps users monitor metabolic health in real-time. More specifically, the app helps users adjust their dietary inputs and use their quantifiable metabolism scores to their advantage. Unlike Dexcom, the company is laser-focused on the user experience layer of the CGM.

In early 2020, Levels raised a small seed round to build out its core UX layer and engineering capacity. The company leverages its unique Zone Score ability to show a user’s bodily reaction to food and exercise so they can tune their diet to optimize health on an ongoing basis.

At Conduit, we connect the world’s best operator-investors and founders building the next generation of startups around the world.

As we scale our platform, understanding key market shifts across verticals will become increasingly vital. Our team will be digging deeper into emerging trends and first movers in the coming weeks, which you can find here.

VC investor in NYC.