By Elena Vrabie
American footwear manufacturing company Nike, Inc. acquired London-based startup RTFKT, which has Bulgarian DNA and […]
Last month, The Recursive told the story of Kyriakos Eleftheriou and his exciting entrepreneurial journey from a commando in the special forces to the famous Y Combinator program. Today, his API fitness and health data startup Terra, announced the closure of a $2.8M round from the US funds General Catalyst, Samsung Next, and NEXT VENTURES. The money will be invested into expanding the team of the recent Y Combinator graduate company.
“From the very beginning of Terra, the question that we always tried to answer with my co-founder is how we can build the best team in the world.. Our fundraising has a strong focus on hiring, and it will allow us to bring more members and create the world-class team of the best engineers that we are envisioning to deliver for our very high demand,” Eleftheriou told The Recursive.
After making 150 pitches with VCs and investors across Europe with no success and deciding to go to San Francisco to try his luck with Silicon Valley investors, Eleftheriou and his co-founder Raouf Yousfi ended up as the first Greek or Algerian founders to enter the Y Combinator. During the program, the founders of Terra made connections with the founders of global startups such as Airbnb, Stripe, and Dropbox and received exposure to some of the most well-known international investors such as Sequoia.
This unlocked many opportunities for the future development of their business and put them in a good position for fast-track growth. Having concluded deals with customers from all around the world, Terra is currently working with international health tech startups and has attracted more than 200,000 users.
“We are building an API that makes it easy for users to connect their health data to apps – has high engineering complexity, from the infrastructure to the front-end side due to our focus on extreme simplicity, efficiency, and usability. As such we need world-class talent to join the team,” Eleftheriou added.
The API of Terra stores the data generated from various wearable devices and sensors and makes it easily accessible for developers. Furthermore, the startup allows users to share and connect their generated fitness and biodata with third parties. According to Eleftheriou, the value-added comes from the fact that users can share their health data with Spotify so that they receive better song recommendations, based on their heart rate and activity levels. When it comes to data privacy, Terra is giving users the opportunity to share their information with apps instead of giving the apps access to sensitive data.
According to Julian Eison, a Managing Partner at NEXT VENTURES, the market wearable technology in healthcare and fitness is driven by rising demand for personalization and the emergence of data interoperability solutions. He highlights that right now there is a big appetite for data with the SaaS industry booming and developers needing data to build accurate software. “Terra could lead in connecting a burgeoning market of consumer hardware, biometric sensors, health, and wellness technology with an innovative connectivity tool that’s simpler, faster, and cheaper than legacy solutions,” Eison shared in his Medium blog.