Leading neurotechnology company, Neurable, announced a $6 million Series A round of funding to develop brain-sensing consumer headphones. This financing, led by M Ventures, with the participation of Innospark Ventures and existing investors such as Loup Ventures and Point Judith Capital, will allow Neurable to evolve past virtual reality applications and create “everyday” brain-computer interfaces: accessible, intuitive, and user-friendly products that will bring the benefits of neurotechnology to the masses. Neurable’s next product will be a pair of consumer headphones that measure cognitive state and provide hands-free control for mobile devices.
Neurable’s first breakthrough technology allows you to control virtual reality (VR) with your mind. Since then, Neurable co-developed a VR game with Red Bull that debuted at Red Bull’s Lollapalooza outpost in August 2019, created new EEG interpretation tools, and is now deploying its software tools in VR simulation training applications. With this funding round, Neurable will expand its focus from VR applications to consumer devices.
The company’s transition from VR to broader applications is a natural one: “We are applying many of the same industry-leading machine learning techniques from our VR-based applications to our headphone prototypes,” said Neurable CEO Dr. Ramses Alcaide. “By making a brain-computer interface in the form of headphones, we will be able to provide the benefits of Neurable’s technology to many more people.”
The headphones will bring the benefits of BCIs to the masses in a form factor that people wear regularly. “A pair of headphones is the ideal brain-sensing wearable because it is a consumer electronics device that millions of people already wear on their heads every day,” said Jamie Alders, Vice President of Product, who joined Neurable in 2018 and has a dozen years of experience in engineering and product management at Bose. “Compared to other potential head-worn electronics form factors, headphones benefit from mature sales channels, seasoned supply chain, and proven customer value.”
“Neurable has the potential to become the user interface of the future, enabling more seamless communication with devices, hands-free and voice-free, disrupting the way we interact with consumer electronics,” said Alexander Hoffmann, Principal at M Ventures. “Together with exciting use cases in digital medicine and the lab of the future, we believe that Neurable’s future product portfolio is strongly aligned with the digital ambitions of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. In addition, we see outstanding synergy potential with other tech companies in M Ventures’ portfolio. We are excited to lead the Series A round and engage on an exciting journey to advance brain computer interfaces.”
Neurable’s mission is to make technology universally accessible, intuitive, and empowering through advanced applications of neurotechnology. Like any tool, technology has limits: it requires some form of physical input to convert human intent into action. Phones have touch screens, computers have keyboards and mice, and newer devices handle complex queries with voice control — with each evolution, technology grows more intuitive. Dr. Alcaide describes the company’s vision: “Brain-computer interfaces will enable a world where you will communicate beyond the limits of today’s computer interfaces. For example, users will be able to send a text by thinking — instead of typing — and those texts will carry an emotional texture beyond the words of the message alone.”
Neurable is actively recruiting across all departments of the company, with an emphasis on technical and scientific roles. Visit neurable.com/careers for more information.
Neurable develops software to understand human intent by using advanced machine learning techniques to classify the electrical signals produced by your brain. Neurable’s software turns these biometric signals into actionable insights for measuring emotion and providing control of connected devices. For more information, visit www.neurable.com.
About M Ventures
M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact the company’s core business areas. From its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel, M Ventures invests globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. M Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. For more information, visit www.m-ventures.com.