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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Forerunner’s Eurie Kim and Oura’s Harpreet Rai discuss betting on consumer hardware – TechCrunch

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There’s a stark contrast between Oura’s deck and the others we pored through on Extra Crunch Live. The slides CEO Harpreet Rai brought to the event were the clear output of a more mature and confident company seeking out its Series B. It’s a company with a focus, aware of where it wants the product to go and do (and it went there, announcing a massive followup round on Tuesday).

Then there’s that giant image of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with the company’s smart ring adorning Harry’s right hand. From there, it’s a parade of celebrity faces: Will Smith, Lance Armstrong, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington and Seth Rogen, to name a few.

It’s clearly been a wild half-dozen years since the company was founded. Rai joined up in 2018, not long before the company embarked on its $28 million Series B. Forerunner General Partner Eurie Kim got on board during the round.

“[I] enthusiastically took the meeting and Harpreet shared his story and the story of Oura. The deck is what we talked through,” says Kim. “Because I was a consumer, it was just a no-brainer that I knew what he was trying to build. So we were very excited to lead the round.”

Kim and Rai joined us on Extra Crunch Live to discuss the process of taking Oura to the next level — and beyond — as the product found a second (or third) life during the pandemic through partnerships with sports leagues like the NBA. And as we’re wont to do, we asked the pair to take a look and a handful of user-submitted pitch decks. If you’d like your deck to be reviewed by experienced founders and investors on a future episode, you can submit it here.

On the hardness of hardware

By the time Oura sought out its Series B, the startup had already progressed pretty far. Kim compares the first-generation product (circa 2016 — predating both Rai and Kim’s time with the company ) to a “Power Rangers ring.” You’ve got to start somewhere, of course — and if nothing else, the admittedly bulky original edition of the product served as a powerful proof of concept.

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