Neurotechnology has long been a passion for Loup Ventures because we think it represents a vast and open opportunity to improve human life via both restoration and augmentation. Brain-computer interfaces are one of the most compelling areas in the neurotech space and we’re excited to invest in Paradromics as they work to capitalize on that opportunity.
To date, many of the BCI solutions have been relatively low bandwidth, leveraging surface electrodes or other non-invasive methods to collect signals from the brain. Paradromics, along with Neuralink (Elon Musk), is one of only a few companies that are attacking an emerging theme around high-bandwidth, invasive brain-computer interfaces.
We’re investing in Paradromics as a play on two of our thematic focus areas: AI and experience.
AI. Paradromics is a hardware and software company. The company creates a device that consists of an implantable microwire array that allows for the high-density collection of neuronal data. The brain has ~100 billion neurons. The current standard in implantable BCI devices, the Utah Array, has about 100 channels (connection points to the brain) and each channel connects with a handful of neurons. Paradromics’ solution currently has over 65,000 channels, and the company’s goal is to connect with over a million neurons.
The collection of such a large array of data presents a unique challenge in that tens of thousands of connection points with the brain yields massive amounts of data to process (tens of GB/sec). To put that in perspective, average high-speed Internet connections are around 20 MB/sec or more than 1,000 times slower. To address this, Paradromics has developed a proprietary tool that allows them to more efficiently process certain elements of the signal to allow for high-resolution analysis of a neuronal signal while compressing the data transferred to more manageable levels.
Experience. In our Manifesto, we outlined the future of computer interfaces moving from phones, to wearables, to implants. Paradromics is also a bet on the last of the three stages. To the extent that we can read (and eventually write to) the brain, we can achieve our long-term vision of a world where it’s possible to create life-like experiences directly via brain-computer interface. This augmentative future is far away, and initial use cases will center on therapeutic outcomes, but we believe the groundwork will be established now to achieve this goal.
Paradromics is attacking the true frontier of frontier technology. Their service has the potential to change human lives near-term for those afflicted with disorders of the brain, as well as long-term as an augmentative tool. We believe the therapeutic market is likely several billion dollars in opportunity, while the augmentative opportunity may be significantly larger.
Disclaimer: We actively write about the themes in which we invest: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics. From time to time, we will write about companies that are in our portfolio. Content on this site including opinions on specific themes in technology, market estimates, and estimates and commentary regarding publicly traded or private companies is not intended for use in making investment decisions. We hold no obligation to update any of our projections. We express no warranties about any estimates or opinions we make.