Updated — Prevent Biometrics, which created a sports mouth guard embedded with electronics to monitor head impacts, has raised $6 million in new financing and signed a "joint technology agreement" with electronics group Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
The Edina, Minn.-based startup, which spun off from the Cleveland Clinic, has now raised a total of $8.5 million in its two financing rounds.
The new capital will be used for "additional technical development and to support the launch" of its mouth guards that contain microcomputers recording the force, location and direction of head impact, the company said in a news release.
Prevent's technology was developed by neurosurgeons and engineers at the Cleveland Clinic. It says its electronics — contained as an inner layer in a plastic mouth guard — can instantly transmit data via a mobil phone app, alerting coaches, trainers or parents when an athlete is hit hard enough to cause a concussion. A red LED light on the mouth guard also is set off to signify a hard hit.
The mouth guard can be made either with an inner layer using a proprietary "GelLok" polymer that must be boiled and shaped to fit an athlete's mouth, or with a custom inner guard. It is listed to sell at $199 for a standard mouth guard and $299 for a custom.
It is expected to go on sale to selected markets this year and to the general public in 2018.
Murata Manufacturing, based Kyoto, Japan, is a maker of electronic components, wireless modules and materials. It's production capabilities include thin films.
"We're excited to have access to the significant resources that Murata and Cleveland Clinic offer, as we continue on the path towards improving sports safety," said Steve Washburn, co-founder and CEO of Prevent, in a statement. "The commitment from our business partners is further proof that our strategy is sound and the market potential is huge."
This story was updated May 1 to reflect that Murata is not an injection molder.