Zennea Technologies Secures Seed Funding to Advance First Multi-Centre Clinical Trial

Zennea Technologies, a Canadian HAX startup, secured seed funding to advance clinical trials for their medical device, a novel solution to treat chronic snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea.

Zennea Technologies Inc., a Canadian-based medical device company and HAX startup, announced today the closing of a new seed round of $1 million Canadian Dollars. Zennea is currently conducting a clinical trial for a novel solution to treat chronic snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea, and this funding will be used to prepare the company’s subsequent multi-centre clinical trial aimed at securing approval to market. This oversubscribed round was led by SOSV, Saltagen Ventures, and Nimbus Synergies.

“Our team has been inspired by the obvious gap in the market for people seeking treatment for their chronic snoring and mild OSA,” said Rachel Chase, CEO of Zennea Technologies. “They’re not able to find a solution that their doctor recommends and alleviates their symptoms without disrupting their sleep. At Zennea, we aim to offer a new gold standard for treating chronic snoring and mild OSA.”

Zennea’s current multi-centre clinical trial is evaluating the efficacy and safety of their novel therapy on the quality of sleep. The trial is being conducted at one of Canada’s leading sleep research centers at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre as well as the Tranq Sleep Centre in Cranbrook, BC through the University of British Columbia.

Zennea will use this round of financing to submit its application to the FDA for approval, and to commence its second clinical trial as well as manufacture its next generation product. This second clinical trial will start in 2022 and will seek participants in the U.S. and Canada, which Zennea anticipates it will complete in 2023.      

Wayne Lai MD, an advising physician for Zennea and clinical assistant professor at University of British Columbia, has been searching for a solution to treat sleep-deprived patients for years. Over 40% of his male and 25% of his female patients between the ages of 30-60 years snore, a condition that is associated with increased upper airway resistance and increased pharyngeal collapsibility.

“Snoring is not only a significant social issue affecting sleep partners, but can also lead to the development of obstructive sleep apnea which can have many profoundly negative health implications including increased cardiovascular risks. Thanks to the team of experts at Zennea, a novel and easy-to-applied transcutaneous device has been developed with the promise of transforming the lives of many. The Zennea solution has the potential to revolutionize how we treat snoring and sleep apnea," explained Dr. Lai.

This funding round was led by existing investors SOSV, Saltagen Ventures, and Nimbus Synergies, and is joined by WUTIF and angel investors through the company’s association with Creative Destruction Labs as an alumni venture.  The Company is also pleased to welcome new investment from Elevation Investments, Nelson Investments, and Salmon Capital Holdings.

Duncan Turner, General Partner at SOSV and Managing Director of HAX, has been a champion of the sleep industry and Zennea’s approach for ending sleepless nights since the team completed the HAX hardware accelerator in 2018. “Individuals and their partners have suffered from snoring for centuries, often with invasive surgery as their only hope. Zennea’s approach is unique and revolutionary for the industry. It surprised us when we first discovered and then invested in the team, and delighted us when we tried it.”

SOSV's HAX is the most active early stage investor in hard tech startups, empowering founders building with robotics, internet of things, digital health, consumer products and industrial technologies. The HAX Program combines hands-on co-development with our experienced product development team, multi-stage venture capital investment, and collaboration with our global founder community building hard tech startups. Since 2012, HAX has invested in over 250 startups meshing hardware and software across its locations in San Francisco, Shenzhen and Tokyo.