Intel doubles down on wearables with investment in Basis Science

With an additional $11.75 million, Basis Science -- maker of the Basis band activity and sleep tracker -- has enlisted the chipmaking titan as a principal investor.

Basis Science

The wearable-tech market -- specifically the sector concerned with health and fitness -- is a hotly contested space, with major players large and small waging wars for the wrist and shooting for the sweet spot between price point and functionality.

Basis Science, a startup that makes a high-end fitness tracker called the Basis band, has just solidified its stake in the fight with $11.75 million in additional funding to close out its Series B round at a total of $23 million, with Intel Capital coming onboard alongside Stanford University, iNovia Capital, and a slew of other new investors.

The investment in Basis Science comes on the heels of Intel's significant investment late last month in Recon Capital, which makes a Google Glass-looking heads-up display that differentiates itself by targeting the professional sports and athletic markets.

"By collecting heart rate, skin and ambient temperature data along with movement tracking, the Basis multi-sensor band opens up opportunities for data analytics driving deeper insights into health and personal behavior," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and an Intel executive vice president, in a statement.

Basis' $199 wrist-worn tracker -- while roughly $75 to $100 more than competitors like the Fitbit Flex and Nike FuelBand -- does indeed stand above the crowd. It contains a consistent heart rate monitor built into the back of the band, a workout intensity monitor that tracks perspiration, and a skin temperature reader that helps flesh out data on how hard you exert yourself throughout the day. That's all on top of the standard sleep and step-tracking functionality built into the watch-like device.

The recent cash injection for Basis brings its total funding to more than $32 million. The company also named Ethan Fassett, formerly of Trinity Ventures, as its vice president of product.

About the author

Nick Statt is a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.


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