Viewpoint / Engineering Biology

GraphWear: Solving a Holy Grail Problem to Save Billions of Lives

two men on blue textured background with GraphWear logo

Venture capital was created to partner with pioneers who dream big and succeed in making a huge impact on humanity. Our partnership with Rajatesh, Saurabh and the team at GraphWear, who just announced their $20M Series B led by us, with participation from Mission BioCapital and Builders VC, is an iconic example of such an opportunity.

GraphWear can solve the Holy Grail problem of extracting data from blood without breaking the skin.

They do that by combining three innovations:

  1. Working with a breakthrough material – the Nobel Prize winning nanoscale material which is able to measure molecules in blood.
  2. Inventing a new kind of transistor – one with a transient base.
  3. Innovating on process – a ruggedized and scalable one that delivers a delightful, consumer-friendly form factor that can be worn.

Their platform’s first target is to monitor blood glucose, the accepted metric to manage diabetes, using a continuous glucose monitoring process (CGM) – which, along with medication, diet, and lifestyle changes, has been proven to be effective in lowering blood glucose levels. CGMs are reimbursable by insurance companies and today, industry stalwarts such as Abbott and Dexcom are valued at over $60 billion, but their minimally invasive CGMs are only used by about 3.5 million of the over 400 million diabetics worldwide. At the same time, devices such as the Apple Watch, which shines light on the skin to get health data, combined with access to the cloud, have seen massive consumer adoption and have consequently democratized our access to care.

By eliminating our fear of needles, GraphWear will transform how diabetics and pre-diabetics (which together represent about 150 million people or 45% of the US population and over 400 million globally) live. And with future targets of their breakthrough platform to other markers in our blood, GraphWear has the potential to save billions of lives.

We brought a prepared mind to this investment. Mayfield has a long history of partnering with pioneers, beginning with the team at Genentech in 1970, through Amgen, Intuitive Surgical, Heartstream and many others. Over the last five years, we have continued this tradition by nurturing scientists and technologist entrepreneurs into company builders. Some recent partnerships include Mammoth Biosciences which is leveraging CRISPR to build a diagnostic and therapeutic platform company; Nēsos, whose purpose-built earbuds retrain neural pathways to control inflammation, creating the new category of e-mmunotherapeutics; Endpoint Health which is pioneering precision immune therapeutics for critical diseases like Sepsis that kill more people than all cancers combined and Tonal, whose smart gym has reinvented strength training.

At the same time, as a people-first investor, we keep an open mind and are always looking for entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Rajatesh and Saurabh were motivated to focus on this problem through personal experience. They started working on the science as nanotech engineers in graduate school and spent 5+ years of R&D to develop the product and plan.  Their superpowers include an obsessive focus on details, an innovate-from-first-principles approach, a culture of measuring everything and iterating fast, and a commitment to capital efficiency. They have tested their value proposition in a clinical trial, and are now refining their product to begin the process of securing regulatory approval. Having helped many companies on the journey from inception to iconic – Lyft and Poshmark to name a couple of recent ones – we are excited to join GraphWear on their journey to save billions of lives.

Congratulations to Rajatesh, Saurabh, and the entire GraphWear team on their debut – honored to be partnered with you to deliver the holy grail.

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