Luxury mattress with built-in firmness sensors looks for £250,000 investment**
Balluga – the unique sleeping experience – is aiming to raise £250,000 to scale up its business selling luxury mattresses with built-in sensors - controlled by a smartphone or tablet to continually adjust the firmness to different areas of the body.
The startup is using equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom to attract funding. SyndicateRoom’s proposition allows sophisticated investors to invest alongside experienced angels in early-stage, high-growth companies.
Balluga aims to combat the issue of mattresses sagging after just a couple of years, which often leads to muscle aches and pains. It uses a patented air cell suspension system with sensors that can adjust the air spread to adjust the firmness.
The company aims to sell its product first within the consumer market from Q1 2016 before moving into the hospitality, care home and healthcare sectors.
Balluga’s bed sensors can also be used to help monitor patients’ health and wellbeing. It can be connected via Bluetooth to Balluga’s own or third-party apps with the bed able to check on the likes of heart rate, oxygen blood levels and temperature using its own sensors or external ones too.
Balluga CEO Joe Katan came up with the idea after buying himself a good quality bed that lost its comfort after a few years. He has spent the last six years developing Balluga.
Joe says: “In the UK alone, total sales of beds are forecast to reach £769m by 2018. For many it is a big monetary investment but often after a few years you’re already in need of a new mattress. We aim to be very disruptive to all existing bed manufacturers.
“Our mattress allows you to customise your sleep and avoid the bed ever sagging. The air surrounds your body and yields to it unlike a physical structure such as foam. We can also control the temperature in the winter and the summer and have vibro-massage to help send you to sleep or wake you up gently.
“We have been able to take an idea, turn it into a workable prototype and we showed it off at the Gadget Show Live last year to great acclaim from visitors who tried it out.”
On SyndicateRoom, Balluga is offering 11.11% of equity. It has an overall pre-money valuation of £2m. To date [August 10 2015] it has raised 50% of its goal. Joe adds: “Our technology is very exciting and we have lots of new ideas. We are working on video content to be displayed above your head, projected from the bed, and interaction with touch-sensitive bed sheets.
“We now have IP granted in around 30 countries and have a portfolio of patents for different types of products. In the future we aim to use our IP in all sorts of furniture items that you sleep in or sit on, indoors and outdoors.”
The funds raised will allow Balluga to launch a small production run and expand its team to build up the business. SyndicateRoom CEO Goncalo de Vasconcelos adds: “SyndicateRoom often attracts companies that are aiming to change the world around them. The key to our model is that if everyday investors believe this can be the case, they can get in on the ground floor with some of the most innovative startups and early-stage companies around.”