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[The best venture company tour (59)] HoneyNaps

Reported by Jung-Il Hwang, UNN university news network / Apr 03, 2020

Korea's first company specializing in sleep research and deep sleep solutions.

Founded in July 2015, HoneyNaps, a biomedical company, has garnered praise for its bio-signal monitoring solution for sleep. HoneyNaps aims to promote well-being by developing technologies focused on sleep health care and is diversifying its expertise in the field of AI diagnostic algorithm technology.

With unique technology, HoneyNaps has attracted attention within the medical field of care centers, hospitals and the wellness sector of hotels, homes etc. From 2018 to 2021, the company achieved sales of more than $1 million for the second consecutive year in both the domestic and international market and continues to hold an operating profit of more than 40%. This is not the end, as the company continues to rapidly grow.

In recognition of its expertise, the company acquired a growth-sharing fund from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups in 2019, alongside other funds for patent technology commercialization by Shinhan Financial Group. During Technology Credit Assessment (TCB) of Korea Enterprise Data, the company obtained the best prize, T3. Additionally, it holds several key patents in Korea and the United States. Currently, investment discussions are underway with Boston-based investment companies and domestic investors and will end investments in Series A within the second quarter.

American Sleep Association recently commended the company for its thesis on AI diagnostic software. With this recognition, the company will announce its artificial intelligence diagnostic software at the AASM conference, which is scheduled to be in Philadelphia in June. The paper, titled 《Validation Study of Neural Network Algorithm for Automated Sleep Stage Scoring: StageNet》 is also currently under review by Scientific Reports, a sister journal of the world-renowned science journal Nature. Thus, the scientific world has acknowledged the company’s technology.

A sleep scanning service that participated in the 2019 Korean Sleep Association's regular academic competition.

■ Sleep is a prerequisite for a healthy life, as it is responsible for various functions such as activation brain functions as well as recovery on a physical and mental aspects Therefore, it is vital to a healthy lifestyle and determines one’s quality of life.

According to HoneyNaps, the sleep industry is a global trend with the coining of new words such as Sleeponomics and SleepTech. It has emerged as a high value-added industry that will continue to grow with the application of different high technology. It does this though sleep-scanning services to AI sleep data analysis algorithms. Following this trend, HoneyNaps is supplying sleep-related solutions to more than 60 hospitals, clinics, and care centers nationwide based on contactless sensing technology, and has plans to launch 1:1 personalized sleep scanning services during the first half of the year.

One of their products, a sleep scanning service, analyzes an individual's sleep pattern and its environment to tailor deep sleep solutions and guides for healthier life. There are a variety of lifestyle options: test takers, office workers, children, and seniors etc. In particular, individual sleep is analyzed with the "SOMNUM" algorithm, which is the first data-based artificial intelligence diagnostic software developed by HoneyNaps.

Unlike the existing visually based AI algorithms, the "SOMNUM" X.AI algorithm analyzes and diagnoses according to real-time bio-signal data. Clinical verification has been completed twice at a university hospital in Korea, and is being reviewed by the U.S. FDA for approval, which is the first in Korea. The next plan is to enter the U.S. market by presenting its AASM papers in different exhibitions in June.

■ Winning over the new industrious, passionate youth

HoneyNaps plans to revitalize the sleep industry to induce a culture of sleep management based on bio-medical technology and personalized sleep patterns.

CEO Young-joon Lee, who directs the technological aspects of the company, obtained a doctorate in computer engineering with a focus in electronic engineering in the United States. In addition, he and experts, with more than 20 years of experience, have worked together from HoneyNap’s beginning to conceptualize the vision and value of HoneyNaps.

With the aim of improving the concentration and productivity of work, a systematic system was established through consultation with law firms, human resource firms and accountants. Executives from established companies factored the shortcomings of the past for an optimal working environment. HoneyNap’s working culture has a compensation system which operates a performance-based system, stock option system, innovative KPI evaluation system, irregular team & individual reward system, and job invention compensation system.

Due to the rapid expansion of domestic and U.S. businesses, each department, including web and app software engineers, big data analysis engineers, service product planning and professional graphic designers, has been heavily recruiting individuals.

Young-joon Lee, CEO of HoneyNaps, said, "HoneyNaps technically analyzes and diagnoses signals from the human body, but eventually creates technologies to communicate with people and help people." I think it's important to have talented people who can create skills that can tap on people's emotions, he said.

CEO Lee also places the most importance on a culture of mutual respect as the four-character idiom, stating that "an animal with horns has no sharp teeth," meaning that one person cannot have all the talents or blessings, but every person's talent can exert greater capabilities and power. He further commented, "I hope talented people who can acknowledge, respect, and support differences will join our adventures.”


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