Gina Rinehart backs AI brain mapping startup Omniscient in $89 million Series C

- June 12, 2024 2 MIN READ
Stephen Scheeler
Omniscient founder Stephen Scheeler
Mind mapping startup Omniscient has raised US$60 million (A$89m) in a Series C as it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to decode the human brain.

The raise was backed by mining magnate Gina Rinehart and existing investor Will Vicars, the billionaire chief investment officer at Caledonia. The five-year-old startup previously raised $40 million in a Series B in July 2021.

Omniscient was cofounded in 2019 by Cambridge-trained neuroscientist Dr Stephane Doyen, US neurosurgeon Dr Michael Sughrue and former Facebook ANZ boss Stephen Scheeler. The new capital is for US expansion, where it already has two FDA-cleared products used in more than 100 US hospitals and clinics.

Earlier this year the team presented at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, showcasing transformative impact of its technology brain health and human potential.

The Sydney startup uses AI in a new form of neuroscience, called connectomics, which seeks to understand how individual neurons are connected to one another to form functional networks. Omniscient’s AI is mapping and analysing brain connections and functions to assist with healthcare and diagnosis.

The company’s flagship platform, Quicktome, automatically decodes and map the brain’s networks—responsible for everything from motor to language to emotion—using an MRI scan. That product includes the first FDA-cleared neurological planning and visualisation tool using resting-state fMRIs, to address areas such as stroke, disorders of consciousness, and oncology.

Dr  Doyen, Omniscient’s chief data scientist, said the AI-driven technologies they’ve created are transforming how we understand and care for the brain.

“Our innovations empower doctors, therapeutics developers, and brain tech pioneers to make groundbreaking advances in brain science and treatment,” he said.

The hope that the insights provided can help address conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression through personalised brain medicine.

Scheeler, Omniscient’s CEO, said AI offers more possibilities than images and text.

“As enthralled as the world is right now by the generative AI boom, it’s easy to forget that the most important data set on the planet—and the most impactful realm to apply advanced AI—is the human brain,” he said.

“We are thrilled to continue to lead the connectomics AI revolution worldwide, thanks to the support of our far-sighted investors, the talents of our team, and the dedication of our customers, partners, and collaborators.”