MindMaze, whose virtual reality software helps people regain movement after strokes or traumatic brain injuries, is valued at more than $ 1.5 billion after receiving funding from AlbaCore Capital Group, according to a person with information.
The Swiss unicorn plans to use the $ 125 million investment to make its platform available to more people and conduct clinical trials, according to CEO Tej Tadi, who founded the company in 2012. The tests involve patients with the diseases. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, among other conditions.
“The future of medicine is not just taking a pill,” Tadi, a founding neuroscientist at MindMaze and a former computer science engineer, said in an interview. Instead, “it is combined with a software intervention like MindMaze. It is the systematic, continuous and very specific repetitive training that leads to recovery ”.
MindMaze, backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, designs video games that combine virtual and augmented reality to help people restore motor function after stroke or brain trauma. The games, which can be played at home or in a hospital or clinic, involve tasks that stimulate parts of the brain.
To advance in a game, the person has to move their hands, trunk or legs in a certain way, which generates a reward. The technology uses a camera to track subtle patient movements in real time and amplifies them within the game. Progress can be remotely monitored by a therapist.
MindMaze’s rehabilitation product is used by patients in Europe, the United States, and Asia. The company is working to obtain authorization for software that doctors can prescribe for other conditions.
“If someone has Parkinson’s or dementia, they would go to a doctor and prescribe MindMaze software as if they were prescribing a drug,” Tadi said. “That will be a paradigm shift where software-driven content will be consumed to essentially reconfigure the brain.”
MindMaze plans to go public in the future, but has not yet made a decision on whether to pursue a traditional listing or a merger with a special purpose vehicle for acquisition, Tadi said.