San Diego Business Journal

Independa Raises $1.6 Million in Seed-Round Funding

Friday, September 23, 2011

San Diego-based startup Independa Inc. on Sept. 21 said it has closed its first round of venture capital funding, raising $1.6 million to expand and market a line of products that helps the elderly live in their own homes without on-site caregivers.

The seed-round funding came from private investors, as well as venture capital firms Miramar Venture Partners, based in Corona del Mar, and City Hill Ventures LLC in San Diego. In addition, Independa received $200,000 in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of Santa Clara-based SVB Financial Group.

Independa said that due to strong interest from other potential investors, it will seek to raise an additional $600,000.

“We consider this funding a strong endorsement of Independa’s expansion and growth strategy,” Independa CEO Kian Saneii said in a statement. “It leaves us well-positioned to continue broadening our integrated telecare platform prudently as we take advantage of mounting interest in telehealth solutions in general and in elder care in particular.”

Independa is in the launch phase of a mobile health product called “Angela,” a touch-screen tablet computer made especially to engage the elderly, with larger screen fonts, higher contrast and brighter colors. The tablet comes preloaded with games, simple social interaction tools for video chats and photo sharing, and tools to set up daily reminders. The tablet is connected on the back end to the family caregivers.

Independa plans to add wireless health and safety sensors to its platform later this year.

The company, founded in 2009, is a part of the EvoNexus business incubator. “Independa is targeting an area of high unmet need,” Jonathan Lim, City Hill’s Managing Partner, said in a statement. He said the Independa has made “impressive progress in a rapid time frame.”

— Kelly Quigley