Utah-based Owlet makes New York Stock Exchange debut
Kurt Workman, co-founder and CEO of Owlet, Inc., started the kindergarten technology company in his friend’s 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 originally founded in a Provo garage, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday after it went public through a merger.
Earlier this week, Owlet announced and completed a merger with Sanbridge Acquisition Corporation, a publicly traded special purpose vehicle, in a deal that estimates the combined company’s equity at approximately $ 1.4 billion and will provide Owlet with $ 135 million poses to expand its product range and global reach. The joint venture was renamed “Owlet, Inc.” renamed. and has started trading under the OWLT ticker symbol.
The stock opened at $ 8.95 per share. By the end of the day, the stock had risen to $ 9.10, averaging $ 9.38. On July 26th, the Owlet Tour celebrates with the ringing of the opening bell on the NYSE floor.
Owlet uses technology and data to create a connected and accessible daycare for babies, giving parents real-time updates and insights into their baby’s health. Products include the third generation Owlet Smart Sock, Owlet Cam, a smart HD video baby monitor, Dream Lab sleep guide, and the Owlet Pregnancy Band – a beta band that is still in beta for monitoring the vital functions of unborn babies.
Going from college student in a garage to trading on the New York Stock Exchange within five years required considerable adaptability and some growing pains and stretch marks.
“We’ve gotten ‘no’ from Utah and overseas investors time and time again,” said Kurt Workman, CEO of Owlet. “Every investor looked at us like we were crazy – just a team of fools from Provo.”
Like most innovative endeavors, the device and company were born out of necessity in 2012. It was then that Workman and his wife, Shea, were planning to raise a family. But Shea Workman has a congenital heart defect that caused her to stop breathing and was rushed to the hospital. She had two more heart surgeries. On the workman side of the family, there has been a history of child loss from sudden Seath syndrome in infants.
Workman’s aunt had just given birth to premature twins and he saw how stressful she was. He wanted to develop a device that could keep parents, including his own family, safe. He thought of the technology normally used on the fingers of patients in hospitals so doctors and nurses can monitor their patients even while they are away, and applied it to babies and parents, resulting in the Smart Sock that is now at over 1 million babies are used.
The device uses pulse oximetry – a non-invasive method of measuring hemoglobin saturation in the blood – to monitor babies’ heart rate and oxygen levels, as well as sleep trends in babies, and to notify parents of any changes via an app notification so they can keep their child help.
“Twenty thousand babies die unexpectedly in their first year of life,” he said. “One thing they have in common is that the parents are gone. This would allow them to be where they need them in the moment because the baby has no voice.”
Soon, his BYU classmates – Jordan Monroe, Zack Bomsta, and Jake Colvin, who all had newborns or babies on the way – joined him to start a company that could stay up with babies all night for the parents not having to do this they decided on the name Owlet, a nocturnal animal that could watch over the children.
Now 28.5% of babies in Utah walk with an Owlet Smart Sock, and they used the data to create the largest infant health dataset ever collected.
When asked what the secret of his success was, Workman cited “the good people who were brought there along the way”. If your company has a real purpose and mission, then you can hire real, quality people, he added.
“We were also successful because we didn’t ship the product until it was really great,” he said. “We went through 14 iterations of the product before shipping.”
All three of Workman’s children have used Owlet’s products. Once, when he was training his youngest son River in his sleep, the baby finally stopped crying after two hours and the Smart Sock Alarm went off. Workman found his baby face down in the low-air mattress. He could turn it over and the baby gasped and slept on. Maybe he would have turned around on his own, but maybe not. But his father could be there to prevent the worst case scenario.
Kurt Workman, CEO and Co-Founder of Owlet, Inc., keeps his youngest son, River. Workman started the company to monitor his children for possible congenital heart defects. Owlet debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, July 16, 2021. (Photo: Owlet, Inc.)
Owlet has received nearly 500 similar reports on the device, which detects heart defects, arrhythmias, accidental asphyxiation, and many other problems. While the device can’t diagnose the baby, it can monitor symptoms and save lives.
“We believe the number of babies who die while they sleep should be zero,” said Workman.
But the benefits aren’t just for the babies. Owlet has released data showing that 96% of parents experience less anxiety and 94% sleep better when using the Owlet.
“I get up every night and check the doors. I check the kids. I check everything. At that moment, before my head hits the pillow, I think, ‘Is there anything else?’ And then Owlet comes in and I can fall asleep, “said Workman.