MindMaze, whose virtual-reality software helps people regain motion after strokes or traumatic brain injuries, is valued at more than $1.5 billion after receiving financing from AlbaCore Capital Group, according to a person briefed on the matter.
The Swiss unicorn plans to use the $125 million investment to make its platform available to more people and to run clinical trials, according to Chief Executive Officer Tej Tadi, who founded the company in 2012. Testsinvolve patients with diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, among other conditions.
“The future of medicine is not just popping a pill,” Tadi, MindMaze’s neuroscientist founder and former computer science engineer, said in an interview. Instead, “you combine it with a software intervention like MindMaze. It’s the systematic continuous very targeted 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 through a game, the person has to move his or her hands, trunk or legs in a certain way, which triggers a reward. The technology uses a camera to track subtle patient movements in real-time and amplifies them within the game. Progress can be monitored remotely by a therapist.
MindMaze’s rehab product is used by patients in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The company is working to get clearance for software that doctors can prescribe for other conditions.
“If someone lives with Parkinson’s or dementia, you would go to a physician and they’d prescribe MindMaze software just like they’d prescribe a drug,” Tadi said. “That will be a paradigm shift where you consume software-driven content to essentially rewire the brain.”
MindMaze plans to list itself publicly in the future but hasn’t yet made a decision about whether it will pursue a traditional listing or a merger with a special purpose acquisition vehicle, Tadi said.