With its first batch of smartwatches in production and on track to land in customers' hands by late August, the two-year-old Olio Devices has raised $10.2 million in venture capital funding to keep building out its vision of attractive wearables designed to save their owners' time — and, yes, to keep it, too.
At this point, it's not very much fun to make quips about wearable devices that actually look good. You're probably sick of them, too. But after wearing the $1,195 rose gold and black leather version of Olio's watch for the duration of an interview with founder Steven Jacobs, I'll personally attest to the fact that this one really does look nice. It's oversized and has a satisfying weight, something Jacobs says the team — which is made up of people from Movado, Apple and Google — worked hard to nail down. Of course, we'll see next month what the San Francisco-based startup's first customers think of the device when they have the chance to really test the thing out.
For now, Olio's promise was enough to raise capital from New Enterprise Associates, which came back for the company's Series A after investing in its seed round last year.
As for what Olio's smartwatch actually does, it's mostly about helping people be more efficient. When you're walking into a meeting, Olio Assist will ask whether you want to hold your calls; if you get a call while driving, it will remind you to call that person back when you get to your destination. And it works for both Android and iPhone users.
"We don't believe you should choose your style based on what phone was on sale the last time you broke your screen," Jacobs says.
While Olio still needs to get its first run of devices out the door, Jacobs says partnerships with fashion brands are not out of the realm of possibility down the line. So watch this space. Pun absolutely intended.
Homepage photo: Olio