LA JOLLA, Calif. & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 2, 2015–
Leading Neurotechnology company NeuroVigil announced today that it completed a second financing round in which in the Company issued equity securities at a pre-money valuation that was over two-and-a-half times the post-money valuations of the Series A financing rounds of Google and Facebook, combined, for less than 0.5% of its common stock. The company’s 2011 seed financing round, wherein NeuroVigil sold less than 2% of its common stock, was at a pre-money valuation that was over twice the combined seed valuations of Google and Facebook. “I continue to be impressed with the way NeuroVigil has met and exceeded its milestones,” said noted seed investor Dr. Howard Morgan, who led this financing round. Co-investors include space entrepreneur Elon Musk, venture capitalist Tim Draper, and venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Zone Ventures. “Companies like NeuroVigil and entrepreneurs of Dr. Low’s intellect and bold vision embody DFJ’s mission to identify, serve, and provide capital for extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who are determined to change the world … The societal returns on believing in Dr. Low and NeuroVigil are well worth any investment,” remarked Tim Draper, managing director of DFJ.
NeuroVigil was bootstrapped during the Great Recession by its chairman and CEO, Dr. Philip Low, who owns about 89% of the company, which he founded when he was a graduate student in computational neuroscience at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and whose PhD work on non-invasive brain biomarker extraction, summarized in a one-page thesis, led to the formation of NeuroVigil. “To paraphrase nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford: ‘We had no money, so we had to think,'” said Dr. Low who decided at the time to postpone entry into the consumer space and instead forge alliances with the pharmaceutical industry to generate cash flow and significant intellectual property, thus opting to forgo traditional consumer-driven venture capital support in favor of an aggressive multifaceted science-based strategy combining algorithms, devices and database technology. The mathematical formalism created by Dr. Low, including the SPEARS algorithm, enabled NeuroVigil to extract higher bandwidth from a single non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) channel and to dramatically reduce its footprint. This capability, combined with a wireless connectivity, provided the company with the potential to track a large number of people (whether on Earth or astronauts in space), thus making it easy to broaden the research population and monitor human brain activity with high precision and throughput and without encumbering subjects. “Philip discovered a fundamentally new way to assess brain activity … This technology is having tremendous impact,” recalled Nobel Laureate and Salk Institute Interim President Emeritus, Dr. Roger Guillemin.
The company was launched in 2007 and is responsible for the iBrain™ portable brain monitor that has been used since 2009 by the pharmaceutical industry (i.e. companies like Roche and Novartis) to gather data from the brain in clinical trials for research purposes, including from children with autism and outpatients. Typically NeuroVigil owns all the intellectual property and biomarkers generated from such collaborations including any generated by its clients and has access to an international portfolio of pending and granted patents. The company has also launched in 2011, at the request of NeuroVigil advisor and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, a program to help individuals with ALS communicate by thought alone, and has developed substantial intellectual property on this topic. In 2013, an ALS sufferer was able to spell a word using this non-invasive technology, which is still being further refined. “Dr. Low and his company have done some outstanding work in this field,” observed Stephen Hawking. In 2015, NeuroVigil attracted significant interest from the senior care industry and is in negotiations with the largest senior care industry operators to monitor thousands of seniors as they progress from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. An initial contract has already been signed.
“Neurotechnology is here to stay, and NeuroVigil is excited by the awesome opportunity to keep doing good for the world and well for its shareholders,” said Dr. Low, NeuroVigil’s, Founder, Chairman & CEO.
ABOUT NEUROVIGIL. NeuroVigil is a world leader in neurotechnology and computational neuroscience, and is dedicated to the betterment of the human condition by merging non-invasive wireless brain recording technology with advanced computational analysis techniques applied exclusively on human data. The award-winning company has developed proprietary technology which leverages the dynamic oscillations produced across the sleep/wake cycle in order to systematically scan the human brain for signs of pathologic activity, years in advance of cognitive or behavioral symptoms. The company, headquartered in La Jolla, California, has an active program on assistive neurotechnologies based at the NASA Research Park, in Mountain View, California. For more information, please visit: http://www.neurovigil.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stanley Barton, 858-454-5134