Singapore-based neuroscience and AI consumer research firm Neurosensum has raised $1.8 million in Series A funding led by SIG China. The round was also joined by Unifam Group, an Indonesian confectionery and food distributor.
This places Neurosensum alongside Zilingo, RedDoorz, Fave (KFit), Chope, iCare, and Kaodim under SIG China’s Southeast Asia portfolio.
Founded in 2017, Neurosensum taps on EEG (electroencephalography), virtual reality, facial coding and eye-tracking technology to develop consumer insights for consumer brands. These tools measure subconscious responses in consumers, allowing brands to better gauge customer sentiment and improve customer experiences.
Rajiv Lamba, co-founder and global managing director of Neurosensum told DEALSTREETASIA that the new funds will be used to expand Neurosensum’s sales and marketing team and enhance its machine learning processes.
“Marketing is all about understanding how to read the minds of consumers. That’s where Neurosensum comes in. The idea is – how can I read your mind without even asking you? We created our own algorithms that measure brain signals, eye tracking, facial expressions to help us understand what consumers really like or dislike about their retail experience,” said Lamba.
The new funds will also give Neurosensum another 1 to 1.5 years of operational runway. It last raised a $620,000 seed round from Alpha JWC Ventures and Unifam in April last year.
Neurosensum is already monetising. It generated $1.1 million in revenue in 2018, and is on track to raise this to $2 million this year. The company has two revenue streams: Neuroscience, an AI-backed tool measuring consumers’ emotional responses; and Surveysensum, a newly-launched survey-building and analysis tool.
Traditional consumer market research remains dominated by Western players who have not adapted quickly to the way technology is influencing consumer behaviour. This has led to the rise of independent houses adopting more tech and customer-oriented approaches such as US-based Qualtrics, Cloudcherry, and Medalia.
Neurosensum, however, is seeing growing competition at home with the likes of Singapore-based Trax and Crayon Data adopting similar approaches.
Trax, Warbug Pincus-backed unicorn, provides in-store execution, market intelligence, and data science solutions for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and retailers through its computer vision-to-platform. The $1.1-billion unicorn is also finalising a deal to raise $100 million to fund its overseas acquisitions.
Lamba added that while consumer market research is still new in Southeast Asia, its products will meet a growing need for more immersive and insightful consumer research in the region.
“Our neuroscience business was actually profitable within 7 to 8 months of operations. Although there are some players in this domain, there are few companies in the Asia Pacific. We are still investing in Surveysensum so that will take some time. That said, I believe our company will be profitable within two years of operations,” said Lamba.
Neurosensum has 55 clients including Unilever, Indofood, Sinarmas Agribusiness and food, Arnott’s and Calbee Wings. It aims to expand its client base in more markets, specifically in Singapore, India, and Indonesia.