Dublin-based Coroflo gets Richard Branson’s approval, raises €650,000

Breastfeeding assistance start-up established just five months ago now valued at €4m

Richard Branson and Rosanne Longmore of Coroflo with the breastfeeding device: the start-up plans to launch its device in Ireland  in the third quarter of 2018. Photograph:  Jonathan Syer

Richard Branson and Rosanne Longmore of Coroflo with the breastfeeding device: the start-up plans to launch its device in Ireland in the third quarter of 2018. Photograph: Jonathan Syer

 

Coroflo, a Dublin-based medtech firm that has developed what it claims is the world’s first accurate breastfeeding monitor, has been valued at €4 million following a recent seed round, and been namechecked by entrepreneur Richard Branson as a company to watch.

The start-up, which was only established five months ago by Rosanne Longmore, has raised €650,000 from unnamed investors as it seeks to go to market.

The firm has developed a revolutionary nipple shield and app that helps mothers monitor the milk flow to their baby in real time. The silicon shield comes with a patented micro-flow sensor embedded which provides accurate details of how much breast milk an infant has consumed.

Ms Longmore met with Mr Branson in London last week after Coroflo was recently crowned the Dublin winner of the Virgin Media Business Voom Tour mini-pitch competition.

Following the meeting, Mr Branson namechecked the company live onstage at the global launch of his new book Losing my Virginity. He has also offered to write a letter of support for the firm’s application for funding under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and to arrange a meeting with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Finalise testing

Last week the company, which is a current finalist in both InterTrade Ireland’s Seedcorn competition and the ESB’s Spark of Genius awards, was also awarded €250,000 by Enterprise Ireland after being chosen as a so-called “high potential start-up” (HPSU).

Ms Longmore said the company intends to use the recent funding to finalise testing and the release of the device in Ireland in the third quarter of 2018. Coroflo is also looking to move into the UK market in 2019 and shortly after into the United States. It expects to seek further investment to aid its expansion.

“We were originally looking to raise €250,000 but we actually ended up closing at €650,000 and turning away investors because we want to raise at a higher valuation next year,” Ms Longmore told The Irish Times.

“There is a lot of interest in our device because what we have is a very tangible product and most people have had or know someone who has experienced difficulties breastfeeding. Economically, an estimated €302 billion is lost every year through people not breastfeeding so anything that aids it has a lot of interest,” she added.