Chinese BCI Startup NeuroXess Secures Round-A Financing

NeuroXess, a brain-computer interface (BCI) company based in Shanghai, announced on December 28 that it has completed round-A financing worth several hundred million yuan. This round was led by Zhongping Capital, followed by Light Silver Capital, GS Capital, Sailing Capital and Tianjin Yanhua Boyi. Existing investors including Shanda, New Alliance Capital and Sequoia Capital China continued to make investments.

NeuroXess was established in November 2021 and is focused on the R&D of minimally invasive high-throughput flexible BCI technology. It claims to compete with Neuralink, an similar field company founded by Elon Musk. In January, 2022, the company completed angel and pre-A rounds of financing worth 97 million yuan ($13.9 million) in total. These rounds were led by Sequoia CapitalChina Seed Fund, with Yonghua Capital, New Alliance Capital and Naozhi Chuanglian following up as co-investors.

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PhoenixPeng, the founder and CEO of NeuroXess, said that striking a balance between high-throughput brain reading and writing and low-trauma implantation is a major challenge that BCI technology is faced with currently. Focusing on the core concept of “how to maximize the use of the brain and minimize damage to the brain,” the company has made remarkable progress in four aspects: technical ability, clinical experimentation, commercialization and talent recruitment.

In terms of its technical capabilities, the company has completed the construction of several core technologies, including nerve electrodes, biomaterials, EEG chips, medical-grade implants, high-throughput EEG instruments, neurosurgery robots and digital brain bank algorithm cloud platforms and more. The firm has also submitted patent applications for certain core technologies.

Moreover, NeuroXess has taken the lead in obtaining Chinese clinical ethics approval documents, carrying out several scientific research clinical trials and achieving expected results. It has cooperated with institutions like Shanghai Huashan Hospital and Ruijin Hospital. The first batch of products with independent property rights of the company have been implemented one year after its establishment, and its customers include medical institutions, universities and research institutes. Related products have begun to gain commercial income and maintained rapid growth.

Sequoia Capital China stated that BCI is a promising technology of the future. Entities in leading countries have released remarkable brain science plans, and Chinese brain science research has also made significant progress in recent years. It is hoped that Chinese companies will integrate bioelectrodes, signal acquisition, consciousness analysis and functional applications as soon as possible to provide product-level BCI services.

At the 2022 World Artificial Intelligence Conference held in September this year, NeuroXess released its first integrated medical-grade BCI product, high-frequency EEG signal processor and software algorithm cloud platform, which can be used for patients with ALS, high paraplegia and blindness.