Madrid-based/Wilmington, Delaware (presumably for tax purposes in the US) UNIT 1 has raised $3.5 million in a Series A funding round. The company, which began life back in 2015 as an innovation company for action sports, appears to be focusing on smart bike accessories, intends to use the funding to accelerate its cadence and expand the team and product lineup through increased R&D activities.
UNIT 1’s $3.5 million Series A round was led by Slingshot Ventures and Ponooc with Joyned Capital participating.
Let’s call it like it is - during the forced live-at-the-office experiment we all took part in, you bought a bike. Or an e-bike. Or in recent days have traveled by an e-scooter to one place or another. Now I’m going to assume you were a responsible adult and wore a helmet, right? Good.
But how often did you look at the available amount of gizmos provided for navigation, lighting, etc. available for your ride, but not your noggin? Me too.
And this is exactly where UNIT 1 is stepping into the picture. While the company’s flagship product, the FARO smart helmet is anything but cheap at £189.00, it does pack a pretty hefty punch when it comes to not only keeping your grey matter intact but also visible.
The fully waterproof, ventilated, helmet is a winner of the Red Dot Award, and plays host to over 500 lumens of integrated lights, with weather monitoring, crash detection, and the Mips safety system fully integrated. Add another £34.90 at the till, and you’ll get your hands on a navigation remote that will add turn Signals and automatic brake lights to your available arsenal.
As a cyclist that’s been clipped a few times, two of which were at night, even though I did have a number of “regular” lights attached to my bike, while not exactly a cheap piece of gear, having another 500 lumens of light plus a bunch of extra features all packed into a helmet could very well be worth the price tag.
One look at UNIT 1’s website, and you’ll note that the company is already accepting preorders for its U1 Torch backpack, which, if I’m looking at it right, not only includes an integrated light, but one that will presumably include the same matching turn signal and braking lighting available in the helmet.
As for the U1 water bottle, I for one can’t wait to see how they make something as simple as a water bottle “smart”. I guess we’ll have to see just what, where, and how that $3.5 million will be deployed.