Announcing Wispr’s $4.6M Seed Round
When Sahaj and I looked at the world around us, we saw a disconnect: output devices like phones are rapidly evolving to smartwatches, VR headsets, and AR glasses or contacts, but the ways we interact with them are virtually the same. Keyboards and voice fall short — the next generation of interfaces will be natural, seamless, and private. At Wispr, we’re designing human-computer interfaces powered by deliberate thoughts.
Building such an interface for every single person required us to challenge a core assumption: that interpreting thoughts requires a direct interface with the brain. Instead, it’s possible to capture these deliberate intentions by looking at the rest of your body. For example, even when you think about lifting your leg without actually moving it, your brain still sends electrical signals to the muscles in your leg. One way to detect these signals is with electromyography, or EMG sensors, similar to the EKG in your Apple watch. These types of sensors, among others, enable us to capture deliberate thoughts with a comfortable wearable.
We knew when we tackled challenges of this magnitude that we would have to bring together a unique team of investors: people with high integrity who have the patience to work with deeply technical companies from seed stage to IPO. We couldn’t be more grateful to be working with Andrew Schoen and Greg Papadopalous at NEA and Alex Kolicich at 8VC. Andrew has led investments in IonQ, Berkshire Grey, and Expanse, and Greg has seen technology as a MIT professor, the CTO of Sun Microsystems, and now through his investments at NEA. Alex Kolicich has stood by companies like Hive.ai, Qualia, Anduril, Blend, and Asana from their earliest stages through their development into mature companies.
We’re also excited to bring on board angel investors and advisors with expertise in the many disciplines relevant to building neurotechnology hardware. Investors in the round include Ben Jones (COO of CTRL-Labs), Josh Duyan (CSO and Co-founder of CTRL-Labs), Jose Carmena (co-CEO of iota Biosciences & former Berkeley Neuroscience Professor), Will Ahmed (CEO of Whoop) Dave Gilboa (CEO of Warby Parker), Chris Manning (Stanford NLP Professor and Investment Partner at AIX Ventures), and Matt Kraning (CTO of Expanse), among others. We’re humbled to learn from them as we go forward. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our team of advisors, including Ben Jones, the former COO of CTRL-Labs (acquired by Meta, formerly known as Facebook), Sergey Stavisky (Co-Director of the UC Davis Neuroprosthetics Lab), and David Eagleman (Stanford neuroscientist and CEO of Neosensory).
With a set of astronomically hard technical challenges and the support of our new investors, we’re scaling up our team in SF. We’re hiring a team of original thinkers: exceptional neuroscientists, hardware engineers, machine learning engineers, and product managers.