Vancouver’s Form raises $12m for high-tech swim goggles

Form Athletica Inc. has developed all the hardware and software needed to display swimmers’ real-time metrics within their goggles.

What happened: Form Athletica Inc. raises millions in Series A funding round

Why it matters: Sizeable capital raise comes at a time global economy is grinding to a halt

While much of the economy is in wait-and-see mode, efforts to raise capital are going swimmingly for one Vancouver-based tech company.

Form Athletica Inc. announced Tuesday (April 21) it’s just closed a $12-million Series A funding round backed by undisclosed investors in the U.K., Denmark and the U.S.

The company is best known for developing augmented reality (AR) swimming goggles that display swimmers’ real-time metrics, such as stroke rate, within their line of sight.

Swimmers can then review the data through smartphone apps.

The wearables, which retail for US$200, sold 10,000 units last year following an August launch.

The sizeable capital raise comes at a time when swimming pools across the globe have been shut down to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Despite the closures, founding CEO Dan Eisenhardt told Business in Vancouver he believes there will be some “pent-up demand” amongst swimmers to purchase the goggles.

He said his customer base is likely accumulating discretionary spending even as the economy slows, which could result in a surge in sales when social-distancing restrictions are loosened.

Form’s hardware and software were developed in-house, while manufacturing is done in Taiwan.

Eisenhardt said the pandemic has not affected Form’s manufacturing in Asia.

Form’s primary market is the U.S., but the company said in its Tuesday announcement the new capital will go towards expanding into more markets, boosting its e-commerce teams, investing in new products and services, and bolstering its marketing efforts.

Prior to launching Form in 2016, Eisenhardt sold his previous AR company, Recon Instruments, to Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC) in a 2015 deal worth a reported $175 million.