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Lumosity, which creates brain-training exercises and games, has raised $31.5 million in additional funding to help enhance cognitive studies and performance around the world.
The San Francisco-based company has gained significant new funding from Discovery Communications, which is leading Lumosity’s fourth round. This should help Lumosity expand its Open Science research platform, which allows for transparency and access and uses web-based tools to facilitate scientific communication. Overall, Lumosity has now raised $70 million in funding.
“As Discovery focuses its digital strategy around strengthening its position as the No. 1 nonfiction media company across all screens, we also see strategic growth opportunities in select investments in the next generation knowledge space,” said JB Perrette, Discovery Communications’ chief digital officer. “Discovery’s commitment to igniting people’s curiosity and passion for learning is a natural fit with Lumosity’s success in brain training. We are proud to take the leadership position in this round of financing and look forward to supporting Lumosity’s expansion around the world.”
Existing investors Menlo Ventures, FirstMark Capital, Harrison Metal, and Norwest Venture Partners are also participating in the round.
Tim Chang, who previously invested in Lumosity, told GamesBeat, “Lumosity is absolutely crushing it as the pioneer and premier company in mental fitness, healthy gaming, and quantified self. They’re probably also the Valley’s most under-hyped company in terms of retained and paying subscriber base. [This is] especially noteworthy as these are spaces that have gained a lot of hype but are mostly populated by early stage concept companies that are still very far away from large-scale monetization.”
Lumosity’s programs help 25 million members in 180 countries. Its more than 40 games hone cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing, and problem solving — easy to do when you hold the world’s largest database of human cognitive performance, which it’s amassed over the last five years.
“[Our] database has more than 400 million data points to date,” the company told GamesBeat. “Lumosity’s research and development team continually analyze this data and work with a network of scientists from top neuroscience programs all across the world to study cognitive training. This effort, called the Human Cognition Project, puts Lumosity in the center of innovation and discovery of human cognition and the real-world application of cognitive training.”
The Human Cognition Project is key to helping researchers study the effects of computerized cognitive training as well as conduct experiments over the web, making it easier to recruit participants and obviate the need for laboratory visits.
Lumosity will be presenting findings from three new studies at the Society for Neuroscience conference in New Orleans in October. In addition, Lumosity told us it has analyzed over 750,000 survey results from its database to better understand how sleep, exercise, and alcohol consumption correlate to cognitive abilities.
The company also offers free memberships to private and public schools through the Lumosity Education Access Program (LEAP), which enrolls students in third through 12th grade. LEAP applications have nearly tripled from semester to semester, and the program has been used in over 500 schools to date.
“Our goal has always been to use technology to create cutting-edge neuroscience-based programs that help people reach their full potential,” said Kunal Sarkar, the cofounder and chief executive officer of Lumosity. “We’re motivated by the millions of consumers who use Lumosity every day to enhance their lives, and we’re excited that Discovery Communications has decided to support our growth into a global learning brand.”
“We see an opportunity to build Lumosity into a household name,” the company told us. “We are in a continual process of R&D, and this round of funding allows us to continue our research into human cognitive performance, ramp up our development of new products faster, and reach hundreds of millions of people around the world.”
The company’s mobile app is one of the top free apps in the Education category.