2015 was a big year for BluDiagnostics, but 2016 is already shaping up to be even bigger.
The Madison, WI-based startup, which is developing a saliva-based fertility test, has raised $600,000 in debt financing as part of a seed funding round, co-founder Katie Brenner confirmed Tuesday.
According to a regulatory filing, nine investors participated in the round. Brenner says this represents the first close of the round, and that its value could eclipse $800,000 before the final close, slated for later this month.
Brenner declined to name specific investors, but says it’s a geographically diverse group. Some are from California, others from the east coast, she says, but the “core” are based in Wisconsin.
“We’re so excited by the fact that Wisconsin cares about women’s health,” Brenner says. “We were able to get this done quickly because we had so much early interest.”
Last year, BluDiagnostics became something of a pitch event darling, racking up first-place finishes at the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, the Doyenne Group’s 5x5x5 competition, and “Pressure Chamber,” a contest organized by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.
Following the Doyenne win, Brenner told Xconomy her company planned to use some of the $5,000 prize money to hire a regulatory consultant to help design clinical studies. Brenner says that work—part of the three-person startup’s attempt to bring its thermometer-like device to market by mid-2017—is now complete.
“We were really excited about the results when we got a professional opinion about our FDA strategy,” she says. “That’s part of what’s allowed us to move forward.”
Before it can begin clinical studies, Brenner says BluDiagnostics must get the three components of its product into place: two pieces of hardware—one of which is electronic, the other a disposable paper strip—and Fertility Finder the mobile app that displays results to patients and physicians.
Brenner says BluDiagnostics will start working to raise its Series A funding round shortly after the seed round’s final close, and that the Series A is likely to close in early 2017.