Certainly the Metamason team must be walking on air these days—or rather, continuing to do so. It must be a wonderful feeling to be nearly just starting, yet shining so brightly already. And their potential has certainly not gone unnoticed by any stretch, from their winning the Startup Competition last year in Santa Clara, awarded a $15,000 uncapped convertible note prize courtesy of Asimov Ventures. for their flagship 3D scanned and silicone printed CPAP masks to their latest triumph—and it’s a biggie—just announced this morning, as they completed their $3 million series seed financing round.
Surely it’s one happy Friday at the office all around for this group, confident in the knowledge that they will be securely forging ahead as they continue to work on bringing the first 3D printed CPAP device to market.
“We are beyond thrilled to reach this important milestone for the company. Our investors are confident that Metamason will be a disruptive, positive force in the $4 billion global sleep apnea market,” said Metamason founder and CEO Leslie Oliver Karpas. “We’re honored by the support of our investors and advisors, here in California and abroad.”
The financing raise was led by 3P Equity Partners, a manufacturing-focused private equity firm located in San Jose, and Tsing Capital, known as China’s foremost clean tech venture capital firm. The round also included almost a dozen individual angel investors located throughout the country.
The Respere platform should be available by the second quarter of next year. The flagship CPAP masks are patient-specific, created through 3D scanning of the face which is integrated into the design of the mask using Metamason’s proprietary algorithm. Because each mask is customized and made-to-order, the patient can rest comfortably at night—rather than finding reasons not to wear the mask because it is unwieldy and defeats the whole purpose of getting a restful sleep or treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at all.
The custom Respere products are 3D printed with a soft medical grade silicone, and with the new quality available in this product, it is hoped that indeed more patients will be happy to wear their CPAP masks.
“Despite its proven efficacy, over half of CPAP patients quit because of discomfort due to poor fit of their mask,” said Karpas.
OSA is a chronic respiratory disorder affecting one in four men and one in nine women in the US alone, states the company in their latest press release. If you haven’t had any experience with sleep apnea, then the term CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy might not mean much to you; however, if you like many others either suffer from sleep apnea or sleep next to a partner each night who is stricken with the noisy and terrifying condition, then undoubtedly you are jumping up and down (at least in your mind) and quite excited about a product that may actually be used enthusiastically, offering a good fit and comfort throughout what is hopefully (now) a peaceful night’s sleep.
“Many people suffering from OSA cannot remember the last time they had a good night’s sleep,” Karpas said. “The technology we are building empowers a user to have a make made for that particular patient. It will improve their sleep and thus improve their lives.”
So what specifically will the company use the seed investment funds for? Cliff Sarkin, COO/CFO and co-founder of Metamason states that they have a full plan outlined, beginning with completing FDA regulatory clearance as well as running the initial clinical trials for the 3D printed CPAP mask. Also ahead this year is a crowdfunding campaign, along with further marketing activities set to begin early next year.
“Big things are happening at Metamason,” said Sarkin, noting that the company has already begun expanding its team of designers and engineers, and celebrating the opening of its new headquarters in downtown LA.
“We’re not just selling a product,” said Karpas. “We want to give patients and providers direct influence over the creation of objects that profoundly affect their lives.”
Not only have the past couple of years been good to Metamason, but with their products, they may just be ensuring people all around the world better—and additional—years, not only adding to the quality of their lives, but in some cases even saving them from a condition that can seem terribly annoying but is also potentially fatal as breathing stops and starts during the breathing cycle.
The successful startup was also chosen in March as one of the five finalists for the 3D Innovation Award at SXSW Interactive, as well as being named one of ‘6 Cool Innovations That Are Making The World A Better Place’ by reason.com. They were also recently accepted into the prestigious Singularity University Startup Network which will offer a host of benefits, including resources and mentorship provided by the respected Silicon Valley think tank and research institution. Discuss further in the Metamason 3D Printed CPAP Masks forum over at 3DPB.com.