Just last week, Toronto-based startup InteraXon announced on its blog that the company has raised over six million dollars in Series A funding from a wide array of different invenstors. This news comes just under a year after InteraXon’s successful crowdfunding campaign wherein the company raised over $150,000 to jumpstart production of its Muse EEG headset. Clearly, Indiegogo was just the beginning.
The six million financing comes from a number of prominent investors, including:
- FF Venture Captial – a large VC firm who in the past has financed startups like Klout and Indiegogo
- Omers Ventures – a well-established funder of technology startups with a long history of successful investments, one of which is the immensely popular social media platform HootSuite
- Felicis Ventures – an investment firm that’s keen on wearable tech, and was an early-stage investor in FitBit, among other startups
- A-Grade Investments – a fund established by Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary, and Ron Burke to opportunistically invest in rising technology startups
- Horizon Ventures – a Hong-Kong based firm who was an early investor in things like Skype, Facebook, Spotify, and Siri
- Bridge Builders Collaborative – a smaller fund that’s dedicated to financing startups and innovators in the BCI field
This round of funding not only provides a massive boost for the company’s hardware and software production, it also solidifies it as a powerful new force in a rapidly growing industry. At this point, consumer EEG technology has been around for more than a decade, but it hasn’t really taken off yet. Let’s be honest here – how many people do you see wearing EEG headbands on a day-to-day basis? Practically none, right? Well with this new batch of capital at its disposal, InteraXon is poised to change all that, and may well be the straw that breaks the BCI camel’s back, finally bringing brain tech into the mainstream.
What makes InteraXon so well-equipped to take the industry by storm? To put it bluntly, smart design and great timing. In just a few short months, Muse will hit the market and be the ONLY headset on the market designed for every-day use. At this point in time, there are really only two major companies – NeuroSky and Emotiv – that have commercial-grade EEG headsets on the market, and these headsets aren’t designed for day-to-day use. Emotiv recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new Insight headband, which will undoubtedly be a competitor when it’s released, but it’s hardly more than a prototype right now. Currently all they’ve got is the EPOC, which is highly capable and better suited for brain research, but ill-suited for every-day use. Similarly, NeuroSky’s MindWave is clunky, unfashionable, and also ill-suited for every day use.
InteraXon is set to release the Muse at a point when consumer interest in wearable tech is mounting and movements like the quantified self are taking off with astonishing speed. If the company can use this new round of funding to launch a successful marketing campaign for Muse, it will enjoy virtually uncontested dominance in the EEG headset market until around Q4 of 2014.
With the right marketing and pushing of it’s SDK, that could be enough time to establish a solid app ecosystem and userbase before any competition has time to stand up – much like Apple did with the iPhone and iOS back in 2007.