Superflex Raises $9.6MM to Introduce Powered Clothing: Apparel to Enhance Strength, Mobility, and Core Wellness

Global Brain Leads Series A Round with Contribution from Horizons
Ventures, Root Ventures, and Sinovation Ventures

MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Superflex, a powered clothing company spun out of SRI International,
today announced it has raised a $9.6MM Series A round, led by Japanese
venture firm Global Brain, marking their first lead investment in the
US, with additional participation from seed investors Horizons Ventures
and Root Ventures, and new investment from Sinovation Ventures. Zak
Murase of Global Brain and Wendy Yu of Horizons will join Manish
Kothari, President, SRI Ventures, and Rich Mahoney, CEO of Superflex, on
the board.

Superflex has hired a team of leaders in textiles, industrial design,
robotics, biomechanics, and data science to develop the new category of
Powered Clothing: lightweight, connected apparel, comfortably worn under
any outfit, with integrated electric “muscles” that add intelligent
wearable strength and natural mobility to muscles and joints, enabling
everyone — from seniors to athletes to people with a wide range of
physical disabilities — to achieve their full physical potential.

Superflex technology was developed at SRI for a DARPA-funded program to
reduce injury risk and enhance soldier endurance while carrying heavy
loads. Recognizing its profound application beyond the military,
Superflex spun out of SRI to explore the technology for a wide range of
consumer products. While the potential applications of powered clothing
are broad — from sports and recreation to apparel and healthcare — the
company is initially focusing on the aging market because of its size
and need. This is reinforced by the fact that more than one-third of
seniors have a mobility limitation and most tech purchases are made by
those over 45.

In the coming months, Superflex will unveil its initial product concept:
a powered suit designed for those experiencing mobility difficulties
later in life, or challenging work environments, to provide core
wellness support for a wearer’s torso, hips, and legs. Reacting to the
body’s natural movements, the suit will provide power lift to naturally
complement one’s strength during the act of standing up, sitting down,
or staying upright.

We’ve looked at dozens of companies across the world for one that would
truly stand to benefit the Japanese market, and this is the only one
that has met our criteria,” said Yasuhiko Yurimoto, CEO of Global Brain.
Superflex’s new category of ‘powered clothing’ represents, in our view,
the future of movement, with profound physical and emotional benefits to
offer global society.” In addition to its investment, Global Brain will
work with Superflex to set up a Japan office and leverage its network to
assist the company in entering the domestic market.

Our origins are in robotics, our future is as an apparel company,” said
Rich Mahoney, co-founder and CEO of Superflex, who previously served as
the Director of Robotics at SRI International. “We’ll combine comfort
and style with power assist for clothes that look good and help people
feel good. Our powered clothing will give people the ability to move
more freely, to gain strength and confidence, to be more injury-free in
the workplace, to achieve higher levels of wellness and social
engagement, and to stay in the home longer.”

About Superflex

Superflex has hired a team of leaders in textiles, industrial design,
robotics, biomechanics, and data science to develop the new category of
Powered Clothing: lightweight, connected apparel, comfortably worn under
any outfit, with integrated electric “muscles” that add intelligent
wearable strength and natural mobility to muscles and joints, enabling
everyone — from seniors to athletes to chronically ill children — to
achieve their full physical potential. Superflex technology was
originally developed at SRI International for a DARPA-funded program to
reduce injury risk and enhance soldier endurance. Recognizing its
profound application beyond the military, Superflex spun out of SRI to
explore the technology for a wide range of consumer applications,
starting with the aging market because of the size of the opportunity
and the need this population faces, Superflex is initially focused on
the aging market.

Contacts

Superflex
Jillian McNerney
press@superflextech.com