Toronto-based Interaxon has raised $11.6 million to expand its brain health technology in the billion-dollar meditation industry.
The Series B funding round was led by Trend Forward Capital, Export Development Canada and OMERS Ventures.
“The ability to benchmark and measure progress has been particularly attractive not only to consumers but also leaders of corporate wellness programs, mental health professionals and business and athletic coaches,” said Derek Luke, Interaxon CEO.
“With this investment, Interaxon is uniquely positioned to harness the potential of its brain interface into the consumer, professional and wellness markets, creating a vibrant services-based platform positioned for growth.”
Interaxon announced the capital injection will be used to speed up the company’s expansion into health and wellness in addition to supporting new applications and services for its flagship product Muse.
Muse is a $300 brain-sensing headband that’s paired with a companion app to give someone real-time feedback during meditative sessions.
“We’ve witnessed over the last few years how meditation has transitioned from a little-known practice exercised in niche circles into a globally recognized health and wellness activity with proven personal benefits,” said EDC’s Eugene Siklos, the director of investments.
Meditation is no longer reserved for inside a yoga studio or temple, as wearable gadgets along with guided meditation and mindfulness apps like Headspace are making the somewhat difficult habit more accessible.
Muse differentiates itself in the Zen space by offering a hardware device the measures brainwave activity through EEG technology, relays those insights into an app, and sends prompts directly into a wearer’s ear to help them re-focus and build a meditation practice.
“The explosion of devices in the market promises to change the way the world thinks and acts, and Interaxon occupies a unique position given its brain-computer interface,” said Wael Mohammed, president of Trend Forward Capital.
The new funding follows a big year for Interaxon. The company announced a licensing partnership with the Safilo Group to add the brain-sensing technology to eyewear commonly used by professional athletes. It also launched its first data-driven SaaS product to the professional and corporate wellness community and is working with the VR community to integrate its technology.
Since it was introduced in 2014, Interaxon has inked partnerships with Amazon, Best Buy and Indigo to accelerate the consumer adoption of Muse.
“This technology not only has relevance to many markets; it is also daily building a database of information that could help improve the mental health and well-being of millions,” he continued.
Epic Capital Management and Bridge Builders Collaborative also participated in Interaxon’s latest round. The company raised an initial Series B in 2015 led by OMERS Ventures that raised $10 million.