Thync Raises $13 Million From Khosla For Mood-Altering Wearables

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Thync Inc, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based wearables startup that has been operating in stealth mode for several years, announces a $13 million Series A round led by notable industry heavyweight Khosla Ventures. Khosla was joined in the round by several other undisclosed investors.  This is the company’s first publically disclosed funding round.

Thync was launched in 2011 with the goal of creating a wearable device that would be able to deliver “on-demand mood shifts” to users. For example, if a user needed to be more focused for a project they were working on, but found themselves feeling anxious or excited, Thync claims its wearable device would be able to immediately shift the users mental state from excitement to a more focused and calm state.

Thync was created by co-founder and CEO Isy Goldwasser. Goldwasser’s background is in chemical engineering, and just prior to launching Thync, he spent a year working at Khosla Ventures as its entrepreneur-in-residence. The technology behind his startup was developed by a team of neuroscientists and engineers working under co-founder and CSO Jamie Tyler, PhD. Tyler’s team has created a headset that produces ultrasonic waveforms that are used to signal neural pathways in the brain. The scientists on the team have found that when specific pathways are targeted, a predictable change in mood or energy level is achieved. The team calls these changes “shifts” and has built a wearable around the concept of manually “shifting” between pre-defined moods and energy levels based on user preference.

The concept is a new and interesting one, and if Thync can deliver on the science fiction-like claims that are being attributed to its headset, it may establish an entirely new segment within the wearables market. Consumers already have products that allow them to shift their moods, energy, and focus: coffee, energy drinks, yoga, and pharmaceutical drugs all deliver similar results. When Thync launches, we will see if consumers are willing to move away from those tried and true options for one that claims to provide more sophisticated control of the desired mood shifts, but that relies on a wearable headset pumping ultrasonic waveforms into the users brain.

Thync’s device is scheduled to launch sometime during 2015.


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