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English singer Matt Bellamy backs London’s Neuralink rival MindPortal in £3.5M funding round

MindPortal

MindPortal, a San Francisco startup with a subsidiary in London, makes wearable devices for brain analysis and assessment. Recently, the wearable company has raised a $5 million (approx £3.5 million) seed round of financing led by Learn Capital.

Other investors including Kleiner Perkins, Dan Siroker (Founder & CEO of Scribe AI), Matt Bellamy (rockstar and front man of Muse), James Park, (Co-Founder & CEO of Fitbit), Julie Zhou, (a former Facebook executive), Scrum Ventures; and additional angels from frontier tech, hardware, and product design, also participated. 

The funding will be used to hire additional neuroscientists, product engineers, and machine learning experts.

Hundred times accurate than EEG

The company, founded by former medical students Ekram Alam and Jack Baber has developed a headset that uses light signals to measure brain waves in a way that is up to a hundred times more accurate than EEG devices. 

The headsets could be used to control virtual reality software, robots, or drones.

Values at £14.1M 

MindPortal claims it could augment the human mind by altering brain activity with software, changing perception, or improving memory. 

The investment, which values MindPortal at $20 million (approx £14.1 million), comes amid growing interest in “brain-computer interfaces”, technology that reads brainwaves to manipulate software.

“We’re animated by a vision of the future where every human on the planet has a greater opportunity to fully develop their talents and minds,” said Rob Hutter, Founder & Managing Partner of Learn Capital. “MindPortal is pursuing what some would call the holy grail – namely, a portable and non-invasive platform that samples brain activity at the high spatial and temporal resolution, a technical feat that could unleash the potential for a dramatic improvement in productivity across work, play, and life.”

“All technology has been generated from the ingenuity of the human mind, but for the first time in the history of our species, we are turning that ingenuity towards creating technology that enhances the human mind itself,” Ekram Alam, Co-founder & CEO of MindPortal.

Neuralink

Elon Musk is also working on a similar concept under the company Neuralink, which aims to connect humans and computers through an ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interface. The company also implanted a chip in a monkey’s brain enabling him to play video games using his mind.