Ectosense completes seed financing with Saffelberg Investments

Ectosense completes seed financing with Saffelberg Investments

March 16th, 2018 ̶ World Sleep Day

Ectosense, a digital healthcare solutions pioneer incubated at Imec and focused on the advancement of sleep disorder care, announces that it has secured €1.5mln in seed funding in a round led by Saffelberg Investments, a leading Brussels-based private equity group. Several industry executives and entrepreneurs will participate in the round.

Bart Van Pee, CEO of Ectosense, comments: “After concluding the validation of our diagnostic device for sleep apnea with our clinical partners such as the Mobile Health Unit in Limburg (Belgium), our company is ready to transition into its next stage. With Saffelberg we not only bring an international private equity investor on board with a significant permanent capital base, but we also secure the invaluable hands-on guidance of entrepreneurs that have grown companies into true international groups with several thousands of employees.”

Luc Osselaer, co-investor and director at Saffelberg, comments: “Ectosense is well-positioned to capture a significant share in the growing sleep disorder management market as the company launches its first innovative product, called NightOwl®. We are thrilled to actively support this ambitious team in accelerating their venture.”

Frederik Massie, CTO of Ectosense, continues, “Today, on World Sleep Day, we are mindful of the millions of undiagnosed sleep apnea sufferers as we expand our team to help those individuals get into proper treatment with our innovative diagnostic device, NightOwl®. Combatting the severe underdiagnosis is key to reducing the burden of untreated sleep apnea on both patients and payers, as the disease is linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic heart failure.”

Ectosense is a venture incubated in the imec.istart and Start it@KBC programs, and Saffelberg’s entry marks the first external investor to join the shareholder base after Imec. This financing round completes the seed funding of Ectosense and brings the total venture funding to €3mln.

About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during the night. 1 in 5 adults suffers from a form of sleep apnea while only 10% of those patients are in treatment, leaving an estimated 200 million individuals undiagnosed. With sleep apnea’s prevalence linked to age and obesity, management of the disorder has turned into a growing and acute challenge.
Sleep apnea takes a strong toll on the mind and body of the individual. Sufferers, for example, have a 2-fold increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and are 5 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.

The disease’s links to other chronic disorders as well as the burdens of increased fatigue, are estimated to cost society $65-130 billion on an annual basis in the United States alone.


About Ectosense
Ectosense is Belgium-based digital healthcare solutions company incubated at Imec focused on the advancement of sleep disorder care. The company will redefine the way in which sleep apnea is clinically diagnosed with its first product, the NightOwl®, eliminating the need for complex devices to make an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis. The company combines miniature biosensor devices with cloud-based data analytics powered by proprietary algorithms that turn physiological measurements into clinically actionable information.
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About Saffelberg Investments
Saffelberg Investments is an independent investment company with a €300 million capital base. It focuses on long term investments in fast-growing ventures through risk-bearing capital. Active across the globe, it participates in corporations operating in diverse sectors through equity and/or mezzanine financing. In recent years, renewable energy, real estate, and life sciences have become key focus areas. For more information and contact details, visit

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About Start it @KBC

Start it @KBC supports and promotes entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and scalable business models. As such, it is Belgium’s largest community of start-ups. As a pioneer in Belgium, Start it @KBC aims to have a positive impact on the country’s economy and society. 

 For their first 3 months at Start it @KBC, start-ups join a strong, tailor-made accelerator programme while continuing to profit from top-notch mentorship, diverse expertise, an extensive international network and an inspiring co-working space for a period of 18 months. Start it @KBC continuously adapts its programme in co-creation with its start-ups.  

One of Start it @KBC’s key objectives is to stimulate (international) cross-pollination between more than 700 start-ups and scale-ups but also amongst investors, experienced mentors, experts from a wide variety of domains (technology, sales, legal, marketing, communication, etc.) and other global accelerators and incubators. The community also plays a leading role in promoting diversity and female entrepreneurship. 

Start it @KBC also has a clear international vision. In addition to hubs in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Leuven, Kortrijk and Budapest, the community also includes a presence in New York. As of 2017, Start it @KBC has been a member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), a select network of 120 global accelerator programmes, offering extra opportunities for start-ups on the international stage and up to 1 million dollars’ worth of exclusive advantages from technology partners.

Via the Start it @KBC’s Corporate Incubation Program, start-up teams within large companies have also been able to transform innovative ideas into fully-fledged businesses under the guidance of Start it @KBC. 

Start it @KBC began in 2014 as a partnership between AccentureCronos GroepFlanders DCimecjoynKBCMobile VikingsTelenet Kickstart, University of Antwerp and local academic partners. 

Start-ups can apply to the programme at any time via the website The selected founders are then invited to pitch their idea to a professional jury at two pitch events per year, after which a new batch of start-ups begin their entrepreneurial journey at Start it @KBC. 

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