California Neurotechnology Startup NeuroVigil Closes First-Round Investment

LA JOLLA, Calif. & PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- NeuroVigil, a San Diego-based neurotechnology company, announced it closed its first round of financing over the weekend.

NeuroVigil’s first round was at a pre-investment valuation reportedly over twice the combined seed valuations of Google and Facebook’s first rounds, and for less than 2% of the company’s stock. The round was led by an anonymous American industrialist and technology visionary, with participants distributed across both the U.S. West and East Coasts.

The company was founded by Dr. Philip Low, when he was a graduate student at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Under Dr. Low’s leadership, NeuroVigil won the 2008 DFJ Venture Challenge, the 2008 UCSD Entrepreneurship Challenge, the 2010 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Award in Life Sciences, successfully went to market, organized the First International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Advanced Neurotechnologies and was identified by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in Health Care.

“Philip discovered a fundamentally new way to assess brain activity, non-invasively, and rapidly, using a single channel of electroencephalogram (EEG). The technology is superb for it allows one to see signals which could only be detected with electrodes implanted in the brain, or at the very least on the surface of the brain… This technology is having tremendous impact,” according to Dr. Roger Guillemin, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, President Emeritus of the Salk Institute and advisor to Dr. Low.

In 2009, NeuroVigil created the iBrainTM device and introduced it to the clinical trials space for leading pharmaceutical companies and research institutions to use for collecting brainwave activity from patients at home instead of in the hospital. NeuroVigil, which owns the devices and the data, is searching for biomarkers of major neuropathologies as well as potential signatures of pre-market drugs on the brain.

"I've followed Dr. Low's work for several years, and am truly excited by the potential benefits now that he's able to efficiently combine neuroscience, mathematics, computer science and wireless technology to build a large database of both healthy and other brain states. The ability to use the resulting brain maps in searching for biomarkers could lead to real breakthroughs in early diagnosis of diseases. And having a history of one's own brain patterns over a significant length of time, something that iBrain makes feasible, can help us understand the neurological changes we go through," said First Round Capital’s Dr. Howard Morgan, an advisor to Dr. Low and a personal investor in NeuroVigil.

“Our vision is that one day people will have access to their brain as routinely and as easily as they currently have to their blood pressure. We are contributing to that effort by building an innovative technology platform at the confluence of artificial intelligence and wireless engineering, and putting it out in the world. We are delighted to receive the backing of some of the world’s foremost investors and technology pioneers as we push forward on this challenging, significant and audacious journey,” said Dr. Philip Low, NeuroVigil’s Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“NeuroVigil is uniquely positioned not only to facilitate advances in brain-state research, but to bring brainwave analysis from the laboratory into commonplace usage," said Mr. Alexis Flint, a Silicon Valley technology investor, advisor to Dr. Low and investor in NeuroVigil.

For his contributions to biomedicine and for his entrepreneurship, Dr. Low, who holds dual appointments at MIT and Stanford and is NeuroVigil’s sole director, has been awarded an extraordinary ability status by the United States government, and was recognized by The MIT Technology Review as one of the Top Young Innovators worldwide. Past recipients include the leaders of Linux, Netscape, Paypal, Google and Facebook.


NeuroVigil, Inc. is dedicated to the betterment of the human condition by merging non-invasive wireless brain recording technology with advanced computational analysis techniques. The award-winning company has developed proprietary technology which leverages the dynamic oscillations produced during sleep in order to systematically scan the brain for signs of pathologic activity years in advance of cognitive or behavioral symptoms. For more information:


Kathleen Murray, Director of Communications
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