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Omni Biotech Raises $300k Pre-Seed Round To Make Hydration An Everyday Trackable

Picture of Jason Balchand
Jason Balchand
Omni Biotech
// Perth startup takes big step towards developing its world-first hydration monitoring platform.

Omni Biotech — founded by Curtin and Stanford University graduates Will Poot and Zac Farrow — is the latest Perth-based startup to attract VC investment. Last week during West Tech Fest, they announced the completion of a $300,000 pre-seed round from Melbourne-based VC, Skalata Ventures.

Omni Biotech will be using the capital to develop its world-first hydration monitoring platform. It uses the existing optical sensors in smartphones and wearable devices to continually monitor the wearer’s hydration levels.

Farrow commented, “Dehydration leads to three of the most commonly occurring workplace accidents on Australian heavy industry sites.”

While sleep, steps and heart rate tracking are a part of daily life for many, there’s still no way of monitoring hydration in real-time or non-invasively — despite its health impact.

Existing blood, urine and sweat tests are not only invasive, but can only be done on a “point in time” basis, which Poot says is “like trying to understand a movie based on a single frame”.

Instead, Omni Biotech can detect and correlate blood flow characteristics to hydration levels with high accuracy, making a hydration prediction every 90 seconds. Users are alerted if hydration levels are low and are advised to take appropriate action.

“We want to help those 75% of Aussies who are spending their whole day in a state of dehydration,” says Farrow.

Omni is now undertaking a validation study at Monash University to further develop the team’s algorithm.

Starting with hydration monitoring as a beachhead, Omni Biotech will leverage its data pipeline and corollary analysis of cardiovascular pulse waves to build out a full suite of novel health metrics.

“Step counters proved that access to health data leads to behavioural change. But there needs to be constant access for people to make better decisions and perform at their best,” says Farrow.

“By increasing access to insights previously reserved for elite athletes, we’re giving everyday people and teams the opportunity to perform at their elite level.”

Skalata Investor Rob Greco added, “Increasing public comfort with health tracking and the explosive growth of wearable technology means the time is now right for Omni to go to market.”

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Picture of Jason Balchand

Jason Balchand

Jason has been in the WA startup community for more than a decade, from mentoring at Startup Weekends to volunteering as Chair of StartupWA. He's also a co-founder of So Media Group, on a mission to champion the best of Perth and WA.
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