Basis raises $11.5M for health-tracking wristwatch, adds Deepak Chopra to advisory board

As health-tracking companies battle it out for consumers’ hearts and minds — and wrists — Basis Science has announced that it has raised $11.5 million for its own sensor-based band that monitors a variety of health indicators.

The Series B round was led by Mayfield Fund and included existing investors, DCM and Norwest Venture Partners. Basis said that Tim Chang, Managing Director at Mayfield, joins its board of directors and technology analyst and active digital health investor Esther Dyson and healthy living expert Deepak Chopra join its advisory board.

With the new funding, CEO Jef Holove said the company will focus on hiring, especially seeking expertise in cloud services, hardware and software, and scaling its manufacturing.

The new funding comes as interest in consumer health tracking devices, particularly those that worn on the wrist, is ballooning. Users can choose from the Nike Fuelband (s NKE) to the Jawbone Up to the Fitbit Flex (see disclosure below) to other options.

At $199, Basis is more expensive than the Up ($129), Fuelband ($149.99) and Flex ($99.95) and it’s bigger than its competitors’ sleek bands, which may be a turn off for those who want to downplay the accessory. But Holove said the Basis band uses four sensors to capture motion, heart rate, perspiration and skin temperature, as opposed to just one (an accelerometer) used by rivals. With those sensors, it can do more than just track activity and calories burned, it can monitor sleep and heart rate as well. He also said that its dashboard, which encourages healthy habits on top of displaying data, is better able to keep users engaged. He previously told GigaOM that, in the future, the company may upsell users on more advanced cloud services that could offer better analytics or more data storage.

“We believe our foundation… will continue to give a much more comprehensive picture of health than anything else on the market,” Holove said in an email. “As we gain more user feedback, we will also continue to evolve our healthy habits approach to build engagement over time.”

Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.