Jio bursts out of stealth with Techstars announcement, $1.2M in funding

Sam Dewey

The summer 2016 class of Techstars Chicago was only just announced this morning, but one participating company is already off to the races.

Chicago-based Jio — one of five local companies in Techstars’ class of 10 — announced this morning it has closed a $1.2 million round of seed funding.

The company, which had been operating in stealth mode until this point, is the maker of a mobile app and invisible, wearable device called Jiobit. Specifically designed for children, the technology is a contextually aware and low power sensor platform that blends itself discreetly into a kid’s clothing.

With over a week’s worth of battery life, Jiobit is designed to help parents keep better track of their young ones. Their cloud-based platform allows parents to stay connected to kids too young for smartphones, offering a wireless subscription services that boasts a set of monitoring and notification features that could reimagine what being a parent looks like in the 21st century.

"Long lasting battery life and simple integration into our clothing is just the beginning," said founder John Renaldi in a statement. "This disruptive technology will affect products for kids, adults, and other tangential spaces in the near future.”

According to the company, the funding will help support engineering, manufacturing, and marketing of the product.

Techstars Chicago participants have access to $120,000 in capital — one of the sundry perks that comes with being admitted to the illustrious accelerator program.

“We see tremendous growth in technologies that help modern, tech savvy parents”, said Troy Henikoff, Managing Director of Techstars, in a statement. “Jio is developing a unique solution to a real problem, with technology that has implications across multiple categories.”

In addition to Techstars’ contribution, the round was raised by a crew of industry notables, including former Googler and Otto co-founder Lior Ron, Motorola’s former SVP of Design Jim Wicks, and Samsung SmartThings VP Tyler Hall.

The product is scheduled for pre-sale release later this year.

Image via Jio.

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