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This bionic clothing startup sews $12.5M funding to boost mobility


CIONIC, a San Francisco-based bionic clothing company behind the groundbreaking Cionic Neural Sleeve, has raised $12.5M in Series A funding. BlueRun Ventures led the round, with Caffeinated Capital, EPIC Ventures, JobsOhio Growth Capital Fund, and LDV Capital also participating. The company has raised $23M to date.

This funding comes on the heels of the Cionic Neural Sleeve’s FDA clearance earlier this year, and it will go toward manufacturing and delivering their mobility technology to people suffering from multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy, and other mobility impairments.

The Cionic Neural Sleeve was founded in 2018 as a labour of love by tech innovator Jeremiah Robison, who was inspired by his young daughter’s struggles with cerebral palsy.

Neural sleeve functioning

The neural sleeve, which is housed within a highly wearable legging garment, uses functional electrical stimulation (FES) technology to provide electrical stimulation to lower limb muscles where the neural pathway from the brain has been damaged by conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis.

The real-time sequencing and firing of various muscle groups within the same gait cycle is made possible by the use of multiple electrode arrays, which are uncommon in traditional FES systems. This provides fully orchestrated assistance and a more fluid step pattern than is possible by focusing on just one neural pathway, as traditional FES systems frequently do.

Expansion of team and R&D

According to the press note, the Series A funding will speed up research trials and commercialization of new indications, resulting in a robust product pipeline spanning the entire spectrum of human mobility. To support the next stage of growth, CIONIC is expanding its team in key functions such as R&D, engineering, operations, marketing, and customer service. Max Levchin and Kevin Hartz, both luminaries in the technology industry, were among the early investors.

“We are on the precipice of a global mobility crisis, as twenty percent of the world’s population is projected to have a movement disability by 2050. It’s time to bring technological innovation to this growing problem. Forward-looking investors realize that we need to take action today, and we are proud to be backed by a group of investors who recognize the need for better solutions and have joined us in our mission to redefine human mobility,” said Jeremiah Robison, Founder and CEO of CIONIC.

John Malloy of BlueRun Ventures who will join as CIONIC’s Board of Directors, says, “There are more than thirty-five million individuals with mobility challenges in the United States alone. I’m privileged to have known Jeremiah and the team for many years and have seen the passion, innovation, and excellence they have brought to market in the Cionic Neural Sleeve. The team has a bold vision and the ability to execute it, and we are thrilled to continue to help drive this vision forward and revolutionize human mobility as we know it today.”

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