sleep

UK founded tech startup Hello, which raised $40.51m in funding, has shut down.

Investors in the startup, which developed a bedroom monitor called Sense, included Singapore’s well-known wealth fund Temasek and David Marcus, head of Messenger at Facebook.

Cherubic Ventures, Shakil Khan, Acequia Capital, Hugo Barra and Bart Swanson also invested in the company.

The company announced the news via a blog post, saying that it would “soon be shutting down”.

James Proud, the chief executive, said: “The past few months have been incredibly tough, especially on the team of Hello. For that I’m incredibly sorry.”

“Hello has been my whole life for five years, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to have travelled with.”

According to the BBC, a source close to Hello said the startup had struggled to find additional backers in recent months.

London-born Proud, the founder, put his plans to attend university on hold and decided to mve to California after he secured a grant from Peter Thiel, the prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and co-founder PayPal.

Proud initially sought to create a wearable sleep-tracking device but eventually pivoted to focus on a table-top device in a quest to attract more users. Speaking to the BBC a few years ago, he said: “We spend a third of our day [asleep] … it’s the most critical part of the day.”

Increasing competition from more established brands are also thought to have played a part in Hello’s demise.