BrainCheck completes $8M round to fuel focus on dementia

Long centered on sports health and concussions, the cognitive assessment software firm is raising funds to up its game around seniors' mental health.
By Jonah Comstock
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Houston, Texas-based BrainCheck has raised an $8 million Series A round for its enterprise software offering that digitizes traditional brain health tests. S3 Ventures and Tensility Venture Partners led the round, with additional participation from True Wealth Ventures and Nueterra Capital.

Founded in 2014, the company previously raised $3 million in 2016 and $1.5 million in 2017, but that $1.5 million is being counted as part of this $8 million Series A, so the company’s total funding comes to $11 million.

WHAT THEY DO

BrainCheck offers software — for iPhones, iPads and desktop computers — that administers a digital version of pen and paper tests for cognitive function. The software also helps physicians analyze the responses and use them to create personalized treatment plans.

“Cognitive healthcare should be an end-to-end solution where problems can be assessed early, and results shared between patients and physicians,” Dr. Yael Katz, co-founder and CEO of BrainCheck, said in a statement. “By analyzing multiple forms of data, BrainCheck helps physicians create and fine-tune personalized interventions. This not only improves outcomes for current patients, but is invaluable to developing management and treatment strategies for future generations.”

WHAT IT’S FOR

The company plans to use the new funding to deepen its engagement with physician groups and with the enterprise healthcare market. This will be done via investment in marketing and business development as well as R&D; BrainCheck’s next step is to personalize its algorithm to improve patient experience.

The company is currently focusing on seniors with dementia, noting that the U.S. has only 12,000 neurologists to treat 50 million seniors. This focus is notably a shift from 2017, when the company’s messaging seemed instead focused on student athletes and addressing concussions.

The company’s website still features a section focused on sports and concussions, so this seems to be more of an expansion than a full pivot.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

At this point, there are a handful of players in the space of digitizing neurocognitive assessment. One, Savonix, was also founded in 2014 and also raised a big round just recently — $9.6 million in April.

Other names in the space include Neurotrack, which has raised more than $29 million, including a recent $3.3 million NIA grant; VeraSci (formerly NeuroCog Trials) which received an NIH grant to develop its iPad-based cognitive assessment tool; and Cambridge Cognition, which received FDA clearance for its Cantab Mobile tool for detecting memory impairment.

And it’s not just startups in on the game — Quest Diagnostics has had its own neurocognitive assessment app since 2016.

ON THE RECORD

“BrainCheck has demonstrated rapid growth combined with extremely high rates of customer satisfaction,” Charlie Plauche, a partner at S3 Ventures who will be joining BrainCheck’s board, said in a statement. “S3 Ventures is thrilled that our investment will accelerate the adoption of BrainCheck’s comprehensive cognitive health solution by physicians everywhere and will help the company evolve into a mainstay in the enterprise health sector.”

“One of the biggest challenges in cognitive neuroscience is early detection of impairment,” Armando Pauker, co-founder of Tensility Venture Partners, added. “Innovation depends on being able to leverage large datasets to identify subtle deviations both within and between individuals. Tensility Ventures’ investment is a testament to BrainCheck’s ability to identify these patterns and use this intelligence to improve patient diagnosis, prognosis and care.”