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Bebop Sensors closes $10m funding round

Steve Rogerson
April 24, 2018



California-based smart fabric sensors company Bebop Sensors has closed a $10m+ series A funding round led by Bullpen Capital. With millions of sensors in daily use, Bebop designs, manufactures and delivers smart fabric sensors to Fortune 500 companies in the health, automotive, IoT and AR-VR markets.
 
The funding will help Bebop accelerate product development and market penetration.
 
Winner of the Frost & Sullivan Innovation Award and Gartner Cool Vendors Awards, the company’s products include the Forte Data Glove, a data glove with sensors and haptics priced for the consumer market; the Sensor Helmet, which provides location-specific impact information; Multi Sensor Insole that measures the changing forces on the bottom of the foot; Automotive Occupant Classification embedded car seat sensors with intelligent car occupant sensing technology for safer airbag deployment; Smart Foot Mat, a sensor platform that measures a person's balance and detects anomalies in orthotic measurement that traditional methods are unable to; and Fabric Track Pad, an input device that can be conformed to a car's interior to recognise taps, gestures and swipes.
 
Unlike other fabric sensors, BeBop's sensors measure physicality, sensing pressure, x-y-z location, bend, motion, rotation, angle and torsion.
 
"We believe BeBop to have fundamental technology that will be as important to AI and humans as cameras and microphones," said Eric Wiesen, managing partner at San Francisco-based Bullpen Capital. “Computers need to feel people, and fabric is already deployed in clothing, furniture and interiors. People are comfortable with it. The perfect place for physical sensors.”
 
The wearable market is predicted to grow rapidly, reaching $5bn by 2027, according to IDTechEx.
 
"This market is also transitioning from rigid sensors such as FSRs to fabric-like, flexible, stretchable sensors,” said Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx. “Bebop Sensors is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this transition and rapid growth in the market."
 
The company uses smart fabrics to create elegant sensors for OEMs. The sensors comprehend force, location, size, weight, bend, twist and presence across any size, resolution and geometry.
 
"Flexible fabric sensors have emerged as one of the most sought-after sensors in markets that affect consumers every day, including automotive, augmented reality, virtual reality, wearables, health, sports and remote sensing," said Keith McMillen, founder and CEO of Bebop Sensors. "I am pleased to have Bullpen Capital with proven tech vision backing Bebop. When you are first in on a major tech innovation, it takes partners that can share that vision to succeed."
 
Bullpen Capital specialises in post-seed funding with more than 70 companies in markets from fantasy sports to data centre equipment. It invests after the product has found a niche in the marketplace. Its $85m venture fund is an early-stage, post-seed venture fund investing in companies that have been funded by super-angels and institutional seed funds.