Sensor specialist Neuranics secures £1.9m investment led by Par Equity

Published: 28 September 2023

Sensor specialist startup Neuranics has secured a £1.9 million investment led by Par Equity. GU Holdings Ltd, the investment company for the University of Glasgow, Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s venture investment fund, and London-based Creator Fund, who back scientific founding teams, also participated in the pre-seed round.

Sensor specialist startup Neuranics has secured a £1.9 million investment led by Par Equity. GU Holdings Ltd, the investment company for the University of Glasgow, Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s venture investment fund, and London-based Creator Fund, who back scientific founding teams, also participated in the pre-seed round.

Left to right are Kia Nazarpour, Hadi Heidari, and Noel McKenna of Neuranics (by Stewart Attwood)

(l-r) Kia Nazarpour, Hadi Heidari, and Noel McKenna of Neuranics. Photo credit: Stewart Attwood
Founded in 2021 as a joint spinout from the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh, Neuranics develops pioneering magnetic sensors integrated with semiconductor technology for health, fitness, and metaverse applications. Neuranics’s patented technology uses scalable spintronics sensors powered by semiconductors to detect tiny magnetic signals from organs of the body – for example the heart and muscles of the arms, which the company says could transform the current shortcomings of health monitoring devices and human-machine interfaces.
The company’s magnetocardiography (MCG) sensors are easier to use than traditional electrocardiography (ECG) sensors.  In a human-machine interface application the magnetomyography (MMG) sensing system can estimate single finger movements by detecting the magnetic activity of the forearm muscles. These sensors improve the latency issues when used to control a robotic hand, or interact with virtual objects in the metaverse.
Neuranics’s chip-scale sensors are low-cost, scalable, low-power, and operate at room temperature, as opposed to the current method of measuring magnetic signals which are characterised by large, complex, expensive, lab or clinic-based equipment.
CEO Noel McKenna said: “Our breakthrough technology will enable much better sensor resolution for human-machine interface, will have huge benefits for health and fitness devices, and also controllers in the metaverse. We see global demand for our technology, and we are already working with several Tier 1 consumer electronics groups. We want to be the world’s leading magnetic sensor company, selling our sensor chips or licensing our technology into hundreds of millions of products per annum.”
Robert Higginson, Partner, Par Equity said: “Rarely do we discover both a transformational technology and such a well-rounded team, with whom we can partner over the long-term to create a company capable of radically improving a broad range of use cases in a number of industry verticals. Neuranics’s patented technologies compliment many other technologies developed by our portfolio companies and are a good example of Par Equity’s tough-tech focus.”
Alexandra Ntemourtsidou, Director of Operations, Creator Fund, said: "Modern hardware represents a significant bottleneck for the wide-scale development of brain-machine technologies. Currently, there's no practical non-invasive solution that can smoothly transition from lab or clinical settings to power AI systems. Neuranics is addressing key practical limitations in magnetic sensing technologies enabling a leap forward in brain signal capture.  Neuranics is a great example of the quality of innovation being built at Scottish universities, we are excited to back a joint spinout from Glasgow and Edinburgh at the pre-seed stage."
Andrea Young, Head of Investment, Old College Capital said: “We are delighted to have participated in Neuranics’s first funding round and to be supporting a joint spinout that is commercialising innovative IP from two of Scotland’s leading universities. The Neuranics team is extremely ambitious, and we look forward to working with them to achieve the company’s potential across multiple market segments.”
Uzma Khan, VP Economic Development & Innovation, University of Glasgow said: “Neuranics is another example of how research activities at Scottish universities generate innovation that can lead to scalable business creation in Scotland. We are delighted with this joint spinout with Edinburgh. The investment reflects the global market potential of this business.  We wish them every success.” 

Notes to editors:
-   The company was co-founded by chief technology officer (CTO) and Professor of Nanoelectronics at the University of Glasgow, Hadi Heidari, Lead Engineer Dr Siming Zuo, and University of Edinburgh Professor of Digital Health and Neuranics’s chief strategy officer (CSO), Kia Nazarpour.
-   Neuranics will present at the MMG Workshop in Glasgow on 9th October.
About Par Equity
Par Equity is a leading venture capital firm, based in Edinburgh, investing in innovative technology companies with high growth potential, in the North of the UK. Since it was founded in 2008, Par Equity has invested over £160m across 77 companies, leveraging a further £268m of capital from third party investors. Success stories include Current Health, DeltaDNA, Optoscribe and ICS Learn. 
About Creator Fund
Creator Fund invests in AI and deep technology startups being built at Europe's leading universities. It has a portfolio of 32 companies, and a team of 42 PhD students embedded across 30+ campuses from the UK to Estonia. This network allows the fund to find innovation inside the laboratory at the earliest stages, and back founders from day one. It also provides a unique talent platform for their founders to access top technical talent.
About Old College Capital
Old College Capital (OCC) is the University of Edinburgh’s venture investment fund. OCC manages Edinburgh’s early-stage investment activities and shareholdings, supporting the most exciting ideas and technologies emerging from the University. OCC is part of Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service.
About GU Holdings Ltd
GU Holdings Ltd (GUHL) is the University of Glasgow’s investment company.  GUHL manages Glasgow’s shareholdings in spinout ventures and its early stage investment activities in ventures created to generate economic impact from innovations arising from the university’s research activities.

First published: 28 September 2023