On November 9, Connect announced that it has raised a total of 210 million yen (about US$2 million) in funding.
Through third-party allotment of capital underwritten by Beyond Next Ventures, Keio Innovation Initiative, Future Venture Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and M3. With the funding, the cumulative amount raised by Connect is ¥245 million (about US $2.33 million). In addition, the company has been selected in the first open invitation for participants in fiscal 2020 programs by The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to support R&D-oriented ventures and commercialization of seed-stage R&D-oriented ventures.
Connect applies Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology to drive robotics attached to paralyzed body parts when function-compensating circuit activity is detected from the brain waves of patients with paralysis, to address movement disorders following a stroke. Assisting the movement of the paralyzed locations through robotics is expected to promote the reconstruction of neural circuits connecting the brain and the paralyzed locations, enabling self-control of movement of the locations even following removal of the robotics.
Connect has conducted demonstration trials involving prototypes, and intends to accelerate research and development of brainwave caps and robotics modules using project support subsidies from NEDO. The funds raised through the third-party allotment will be used to formulate product specifications to obtain medical device approval, construct a mass production system, and hire human resources.