‘Nobi’, the tech scale-up that monitors older adults, acquires an investment of EUR 13 million for international expansion
The Belgian scale-up Nobi, known for its smart lamp that focuses on fall detection and fall prevention in older adults, announces that it has raised more than EUR 13 million from LSP Health Economics Fund, 2 LSP Dementia Fund, the Flemish Investment Company PMV and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. The existing shareholders are also stepping into this second influx of capital. They thus confirm their confidence in a company that, on the one hand, wants to make a fundamental difference to the lives of older adults in assisted living centres, independent living facilities, or at home. On the other hand, the smart lamp also serves society at large, which, due to the rapid aging of the population, is seeing the cost of care due to falls increase year by year. Nobi recently opened its first foreign offices in the United States (New York), the Netherlands (Eindhoven), and Austria (Vienna), and it aspires further international expansion.
Group of over-65s continues to grow The global population continues to age at a rapid pace. In fact, one-fifth of Europe’s population is currently over 65, and this will be one quarter by 2040. Older adults deserve all the care they require for a full and happy life, not only today but also tomorrow. An aging population puts our society to the test. This is a tough assignment for a healthcare system already suffering from severe financial pressure and an acute shortage of healthcare personnel.
Technology for a long and happy life Nobi believes that innovative technologies will therefore play an increasingly important role in the lives of older adults. Based on its mission to help the elderly live happily, independently, and with dignity for as long as possible, Nobi develops technological innovations that assist people and society in the challenges of an aging population both today and tomorrow. Nobi is already doing this with its smart lamp, which focuses on fall detection, fall prevention, and safety.* In the coming years, Nobi will evolve into a tech company for the elderly with a range of products and services that will help people live happily, independently and with dignity for as long as possible in the location of their choice.
Nobi 2021: a retrospective Nobi’s market promise seemed to catch on in 2021. The company started collaborations with large and small Belgian and international healthcare companies. These include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, community care, convalescent homes, and organizations for children with disabilities. Nobi lamps are used to support (often busy) healthcare personnel so that they can devote all their time and energy to providing even better quality care for their residents or patients. Nobi also opened its first foreign offices in the Netherlands (Eindhoven), Austria (Vienna), and the United States (New York) in 2021. Nobi’s design was also honored in 2021. We received two gold awards in the ‘Consumer’ and ‘Business Innovation’ categories of the prestigious ‘Henry van de Velde Awards’. Shortly afterward, Nobi received a German Design Award.
Looking to the future The EUR 13 million of new capital will be used to develop long-term collaborations with
assisted living centres, independent living facilities and hospitals worldwide, and launch Nobi in people’s homes. Nobi will also be investing in the redesign of its first-generation lamps. Despite rising raw material prices, the company aspires to a lower-cost lamp to help as many people as possible. To achieve all this nationally and internationally, team Nobi will grow from 10 to more than 40 employees by the end of 2022.
Roeland Pelgrims, co-CEO of Nobi: “Saving lives and safeguarding quality years of life has been our driving force since the establishment of Nobi. In the event of a serious fall, every minute counts. The faster people are helped, the more time they can gain in life. We know that 20% of all older adults brought into the emergency room lie on the floor for more than an hour. Within this group, mortality rises to 50% within six months of the fall. Thus, the first 30 falls that Nobi was able to detect this year had a great emotional and symbolic value for team Nobi. These 30 people were immediately helped by the nursing staff because their assisted living facility had Nobi. In each case, these interventions saved several years of life. That’s why we do it!”
Rudy Dekeyser, managing partner at LSP Health Economics Fund 2: “Thanks to Nobi’s unique technology for fall detection and fall prevention, it already offers a great deal of added value. However, the intelligent lamp can do so much more. Integrated communication technology makes it possible to develop attractive applications that, among other things, help prevent illnesses, monitor therapies and, above all, contribute to the wellbeing of the elderly. With our investment, we also want to unleash that potential.”
Philip Scheltens, managing partner at LSP Dementia Fund: Of all the older adults, those with any stage dementia have the highest risk of falling. Falls often end in hospitalisation and subsequently more rapid deterioration. They should therefore be avoided whenever possible. In nursing homes, the risk of falling puts a lot of pressure on the already limited workforce. This is why the LSP Dementia Fund considers the investment in Nobi of great social value.”
Tine Bekaert, investment manager at PMV: “At present, the expenditures on prevention within the health care system in our country are below the European average, while it is a necessity to put all our efforts into this in order to keep our system affordable. Based on the conviction that new technologies can make a strong contribution to the transition from primarily curative to more preventive medicine and healthcare in general, PMV is very happy to put our financial backing behind a company that shares this conviction in its long-term strategy.”
Didier Beauvois, Head of Corporate Banking & Member of the Executive Board of BNP Paribas Fortis: “This investment underlines our mission to support innovative companies with a positive social impact. Together with the reputable investment consortium, we are happy to support the further expansion of Nobi to meet one of the greatest challenges in our society in the coming years.”
Closing note Nobi’s second injection of capital was supervised by Joris Noreillie of CFOrent, with Portelio as a legal partner. In addition to the new investors, Nobi would also like to thank its initial shareholders who are investing again, as well as VLAIO, which made the development of the lamp possible with half a million euros of support at the start.
*PRODUCT INFORMATION Nobi, the smart lamp: partner in fall detection, fall prevention, and safety Nobi’s first product is the intelligent lamp that is helping to solve a global problem: falls by older adults. One in three people over 65 fall at least once a year, and 66% of them are injured seriously. In Europe, 2.3 million older adults end up in emergency rooms. Getting help as soon as possible is crucial: after all, falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries. And 50% of the elderly who lay on the floor for longer than one hour die within six months of the fall. With the help of a sophisticated sensor system and artificial intelligence, the Nobi lamp detects when its resident falls and ensures that assistance is provided. Nobi wants to make it possible for as many older adults as possible to live safely and happily wherever they want. This can be at home, in a service flat, or their room in an assisted living facility, supporting the often busy care staff.
The smart lamp: more than just fall detection In addition, Nobi has built-in temperature and air quality measuring instruments by default. It also helps prevent falls. Nobi registers when the resident sits up in bed at night and automatically switches on soft lighting. This helps prevent disorientation when waking up and a fall when getting out of bed. Its artificial intelligence enables Nobi to detect changes in behavior, such as when someone suddenly has difficulty walking. Nobi also helps to monitor the general health of its residents. Integration with devices such as smart scales or a blood pressure monitor provides additional insights into the resident’s health. Residents and their carers receive warnings or encouraging messages such as ‘try to take 1,000 steps today’ via app notifications.
About Nobi Nobi is a startup founded in 2018 in Antwerp, Belgium. Nobi wants to ensure that as many elderly people as possible can continue to live independently for as long as possible in a qualitative and carefree manner. The Nobi lamps are also more than useful for residential care centers and service flats. The smart lamps efficiently support care staff and ensure that they can fully concentrate on their core mission: helping the elderly to live a happy and comfortable life. Nobi is double Henry van de Velde winner 2021 in the Business Innovation and Consumer categories and won a German Design Award. Nobi consists of a 10-person team in Belgium, 2 employees in the Netherlands, 2 employees in the United States and an international advisory board with specialists in elder care, medicine and smart home technology. All information can be found at www.nobi.life
About LSP LSP is a European investment firm providing financing for life sciences and health care companies. LSP’s management has raised over $3.5 billion (€3 billion) and supported the growth of 150 companies since it started to invest in 1988, including signature deals such as argenx, Crucell and Neuravi. With offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP currently has the possibility to invest through five strategies, each having a distinctive investment scope and a dedicated team: LSP 7 invests in private early- to late-stage drug development and medical technology companies; LSP HEF 2 focuses on private late-stage medical technology companies; the LSP Dementia Fund invests in companies targeting neurodegenerative diseases; LSP Public targets public healthcare companies; and EBAC is LSP’s SPAC exclusively focussing on European biotech. LSP is an active contributor to the global life sciences industry and the European life science eco-system by assuming roles as initiators, founders and board members in various private and public bodies and organizations, for
example being founder and board member of the Oncode Institute. For more information: lspvc.com.
About PMV PMV is a Flemish (Belgian) investment company that shapes the economic future of Flanders. PMV finances promising companies from the very start to growth and internationalization. PMV offers tailor-made financial solutions for every entrepreneur with a solid business plan and a strong management team by providing venture capital, loans, and guarantees. In addition, with and for the government, they realize projects that are important for the prosperity and well-being in Flanders in cooperation with various partners. PMV has a portfolio of about € 1.4 billion in assets under management. More info about PMV can be found on www.pmv.eu
About BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity (https://companies.bnpparibasfortis.be/PrivateEquity) is the risk capital company of BNP Paribas Fortis. It has been operating in the private equity market in Belgium since the 1980s. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity currently acquires minority stakes and provides mezzanine financing to high-performance medium-sized companies. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity also invests in specialized venture capital and private equity funds in the Belgian market. Direct holdings of BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity include Studio 100, JAC, eTheRNA, Penne, Quality Assistance, and PointChaud
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