Kinsa, the company behind the world’s first app-enabled, FDA-approved smart thermometer, has today announced the close of a $9.6 million Series A financing round with participation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, FirstMark Capital, and Andy Palmer, among others. This comes directly on the heels of the launch of a new program called Fluency, which lets Kinsa track the spread of illness at schools and in other small communities.
Kinsa’s smart thermometer pairs with an app that not only helps keep a running record of temperature and give actionable advice based on the results, but actually encourages regular use. Once you plug the thermometer into the headphone jack of the smartphone and open the app, it’ll show calming animations that are helpful with kids while letting parents know if the thermometer slips out of place. The whole process takes about 10 seconds.
“What’s really special about Kinsa and the thermometer in general is that it is the first device, the first piece of hardware, that actually verifies that you’re sick,” said founder and CEO Inder Singh. “It’s the most ubiquitous medical device in the world, and we’re simply piggybacking off of, and improving, regular behavior.”
There are a number of significant benefits to pairing technology with a thermometer, especially for parents. Having a record of fever, with a feature to take notes on prescriptions and symptoms that are automatically dated, gives doctors valuable information when diagnosing and treating issues. And when you add in social functionality, parents can start to differentiate between a common cold (that may not require an immediate doctor visit) and strep throat.
Kinsa’s Fluency program begins with a campaign that lets schools sign up to receive free Kinsa thermometer kits for each family. Up to twenty schools will be chosen.
The Kinsa costs $29.99, and alongside hardware sales, the company is considering how they can be a communications layer for other companies working on telemedicine, prescription delivery, and other startups in the health ecosystem.
Kinsa’s new funding will go toward growth, with plans to hire engineers and marketing employees to help build out the product and the brand.
“The greatest challenge ahead is just hiring amazing talent so we can go as fast as we want,” said Singh. “We need marketers, engineers, operations people who can handle the hardware and supply chain side of our business. It’s a similar challenge to most startups, but we want to bring on talent that is culturally aligned. When you do that, you can really have a game changing company.”
If you want to check out Kinsa, you can learn more on the website here.