Kurt Workman, co-founder and CEO of Owlet, Inc., started the nursery tech business in his friend’s parents’ garage in Provo. The company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, July 16, 2021 (Owlet, Inc.)
LEHI – Owlet Baby Care, a nursery tech company that originally started out of a garage in Provo, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday after going public through a merger.
Earlier this week, Owlet announced and entered into a merger with Sanbridge Acquisition Corporation, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, in a deal that values ââthe combined entity’s equity at around $ 1. $ 4 billion and provides Owlet $ 135 million to expand its product line and global reach. The joint company was renamed “Owlet, Inc.” and began trading under the ticker symbol OWLT.
The action opened at $ 8.95 per share. By the end of the day, the stock price had risen to $ 9.10 with an average of $ 9.38. On July 26, Owlet’s management will celebrate by ringing the opening bell on the NYSE floor.
Owlet uses technology and data to create a connected and accessible nursery for babies and gives parents real-time updates and information on their baby’s health. Its products include the third generation of Owlet smart socks, the Owlet camera, a smart HD video baby monitor, the Dream Lab sleep guide, and the Owlet pregnancy bracelet – a group still in beta testing to monitor vital signs of babies. unborn babies.
Going from college students to a garage on the New York Stock Exchange in five years required great adaptability, growing pains, and stretch marks.
âUtah investors and overseas investors have told us ‘no’ time and time again,â said Owlet CEO Kurt Workman. “Every investor looked at us like we were crazy – just a bunch of boors from Provo.”
Like most innovation efforts, the device and the company were born out of necessity in 2012. At the time, Workman and his wife, Shea, were planning to start a family. But Shea Workman has a congenital heart defect that caused her to stop breathing and be taken to the hospital. She had two more heart surgeries. On the Workman side of the family, there was a history of child loss due to Sudden Infant Syndrome.
Workman’s aunt had just given birth to premature twins, and he saw the toll the stress took on her. He wanted to create a device that would help create peace of mind for parents, including his own family. He thought of the technology commonly used on patient fingers in hospitals to allow doctors and nurses to monitor their patients even when they are away and applied it to babies and parents, which led to the Smart Sock, now used on over a million babies.
The device uses pulse oximetry – a non-invasive method of measuring hemoglobin saturation in the blood – to monitor babies’ heart rate and blood oxygen levels and sleep patterns while babies are sleeping. sleep and alert parents of any changes via app notification so they can help their child.
âTwenty thousand babies die unexpectedly in the first year of life,â he said. “One thing in common is that the parents are absent. It would allow them to be there when they need it because the baby has no voice.”
Soon his BYU classmates – Jordan Monroe, Zack Bomsta, and Jake Colvin, who all had newborns or babies on their way – joined him to start a business that could stay awake all night with babies in order. parents don’t have to, that’s how they chose the name Owlet, a nocturnal animal who could watch over children.
Today, 28.5% of Utah babies leave with an Owlet smart sock, and they used the data to create the largest set of infant health data ever collected.
When asked what the secret to his success is, Workman quotes “the right people who were brought in along the way.” When your business has a real purpose and mission, then you can hire real, quality people, he added.
âWe were also successful because it wasn’t until the product was really great that we sent it in,â he said. “We went through 14 iterations of the product before shipping.”
All three of Workman’s children used Owlet’s products. Once, while training his youngest son, River, to sleep, the baby finally stopped crying after two hours and the Smart Sock alarm went off. Workman found her baby lying face down directly in the mattress with a poor supply of air. He was able to turn it over, and the baby gasped and continued to sleep. Maybe he would have turned around on his own, but maybe he wouldn’t. But his father knew how to be there to avoid the worst-case scenario.
Owlet has received nearly 500 similar stories of the device detecting heart defects, arrhythmias, accidental suffocation, and many other issues. Although the device cannot diagnose the baby, it can monitor symptoms and save lives.
âWe believe the number of babies who die in their sleep should be zero,â Workman said.
But the benefits aren’t just for babies. Owlet released data that shows 96% of parents report less anxiety when using the Owlet, and 94% report better sleep.
âEvery night I get up and check the doors. I check the kids. I check everything. It’s that moment before my head hits the pillow that I’m like, ‘Is there anything. something else ?’ And that’s when Owlet comes in and I can fall asleep, âWorkman said.