Humm raises $2.6M seed round for its wearable patch shown to stimulate your brain and improve working memory
Imagine a world where learning is effortless, where communication and control of technology are as simple as a thought and where every person has the power to expand their intelligence. In the last ten years, cutting edge neuroscience has opened new horizons for the improvement of the human brain.
At the forefront of this advancement is Humm, a neuroscience startup working to bring the incredible results of neuroscience research out of the lab and into non-invasive wearables that improve the quality of life for everyday people. Humm is the maker of the first affordable, wearable patch for providing electrical stimulation to your brain,
Today, Humm announced it has closed a $2.6 million seed round, bringing total funding to $3.1 million. The Humm device has been clinically studied and shown to improve memory and learning. It is a disposable wearable patch, like a big bandaid and was tested in UCSF neuroscience clinical trials which showed that people can experience close to 20% faster learning speed after one 15-minute session. Humm’s product is used by the Air Force to help its pilots in training.
The round was led by Blueyard Capital with additional funding from CRCM Venture Capital and follow-on funding from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund. Joining the company’s board are Jason Whitmire, General Partner of Blueyard and Ariel Poler. Poler is a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur, investor and long-standing executive of the successful consumer health company Strava and UCSF’s Health Hub.
Founded in 2017 by Ahmud Auleear, Christopher Norman, Iain McIntyre, and Timothy Fiori, the Berkeley, California-based Humm is a recent graduate of the Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator. The startup is working with leading neuroscientists to bring its first patch to market; making neurostimulation technology 100-times cheaper and allowing users to experience the benefits in three minutes.
The new funding will be used to launch Humm’s first product, a wearable patch and software app that makes learning faster and easier by strengthening the neural circuits which regulate memory in the brain. The Humm patch is the first technology that has been shown to measurably improve working memory within just minutes of use, and for hours after. A person’s working memory determines how many numbers, names and other facts they can hold in mind at any time, and improving it allows a user to do things like learn skills and information faster, focus better and multitask more effectively.
Ciarán O’Leary, General Partner at Blueyard Capital stated, “As software and biology continue to be on a collision course, new technology paradigms will emerge that will unleash creativity and empower scientists, clinicians and engineers to read, edit and write biology – including key human functions. Humm’s technology improves the performance of the human mind and has the potential to expand healthspan for millions of people. So we are excited to be working with a team that is reinventing the form factor and experience of brain stimulation.”
“This is a very important time for Humm,” said Iain McIntyre, Humm CEO and Co-founder. “Using the patch is as easy as sticking on a BAND-AID®–nothing bulky or awkward. In a 15-minute session, our clinical trial shows a 20 percent improvement in working memory capacity [against placebo] within the first three minutes of wearing a patch, that then lasts for more than an hour afterwards. In our testing with hundreds of early access users this year we’ve seen people doing exciting things with that boost, like accelerating the speed they can learn a language or remembering more of what they read.”
Working with top neuroscientists in the field of neurostimulation at UC Berkeley and UCSF, Humm is continuing to refine the easy-to-use and inexpensive (less than $10) patch. The product is worn on the forehead, just above the prefrontal cortex–a critical area of the brain for decision making and learning. It uses non-invasive electrical stimulation, which has been studied for the past 30 years and Humm’s particular method of choice, known as tACS, takes advantage of some of the latest exciting research in the area.
The company’s early access store is now closed after receiving thousands of pre-orders from customers and a substantial order from the U.S. Airforce, but those wanting to be among the first to try may join a waitlist at www.thinkhumm.com. Humm plans to make the patch available to consumers in Q3 2020. The product will be demonstrated at the upcoming CES conference in Las Vegas January 2020. (Demo at the SkyDeck exhibit at the RAVV booth in Eureka Park– #51263).
“Our vision is to use this novel technology to replace medication and supplementation for the brain with a healthier, better alternative that nurtures and improves our mental capabilities,” Added Mcintyre.