The deal allows Oura’s smart rings to expand into areas such as payments, access, security and identity
If a leaderboard existed for smart ring companies, Oura would currently be in first place.
The smart ring maker has acquired Proxy, a digital identity startup, to accelerate its technology offerings in ways that go well beyond tracking activity and sleep. The deal will integrate digital identity technology, Proxy’s specialty, into Oura’s existing hardware and software offerings, bringing opportunities such as payments, access, security and identity to the wearable ring.
Oura said the all-equity deal will include the integration of Proxy’s key full-time employees, including its founders. The deal valued Proxy at $165 million, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Proxy offers powerful tech
Proxy offers digital identity signal technology, enhancing data privacy. The company has been working to advance its biometrically linked digital technology from mobile phones to wearables.
Denis Mars, co-founder and CEO of Proxy said his tech company has been “hustling in stealth mode” to develop a wearable with biometric authentication and security technology for a “wave to pay” future.
“By joining Oura, the smart ring leader, we can change the game,” Mars said.
As for Proxy’s stealth mode, in 2020, the company acquired Motiv, a fitness and sleep tracker smart ring startup. Motiv caught the eye of the digital ID company for its advancements, such as a gait analysis system, a biometric ID that enabled the Motiv ring to identify a user by the way they walked with over 90 percent accuracy.
But it was Motiv’s capability, in which the ring was used as a two-step verification process when logging into supported services, that was especially appealing to Proxy — and one that it promised to expand.
Of the deal to acquire Motiv, Mars wrote that he saw the potential of “man-machine symbiosis,” with a wearable ring designed to be worn 24/7 that can continuously confirm identity and augment personal preferences while securing credentials.
As a result of the acquisition, Proxy was able to capture Motiv’s patents and technology.
Oura is looking to the future
For Oura, the deal to acquire Proxy expand’s the smart ring company’s foothold in health wearables and signals its forward-thinking ambitions, according to its CEO, Tom Hale.
“With the acquisition of Proxy, we have the most comprehensive portfolio in the smart ring space,” Hale said.
The wearable tech company says women’s health, illness detection, sleep, stress and mental health are key areas for research and development. As the healthcare landscape continues evolving, blockchain, encryption and digital identity will become essential to securing data privacy, according to Oura COO Michael Chapp.
“Continuous health data collected through wearable technology is the key to enabling personalized, precision care that will usher in a new era for the healthcare industry,” said Chapp. “Oura is a mission-driven culture, boldly pursuing the healthcare space, and we’re excited about the opportunities this acquisition will help to unlock.”
Last year, the smart ring maker sold its millionth smart ring and announced a capital raise at a $2.55 billion valuation.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.