MENLO PARK, Calif. – Powered clothing company Superflex has raised $9.66 million in a Series A round of funding to develop connected apparel that can be worn underneath regular clothing.
“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,” said Yasuhiko Yurimoto, CEO of Global Brain, a Japanese venture firm that led the funding.
Superflex has hired a team of leaders in textiles, industrial design, robotics, biomechanics, and data science to develop the lightweight, connected apparel that features electric “muscles” that add intelligent wearable strength and natural mobility to muscles and joints. Superflex technology was developed at SRI International for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-funded program to reduce injury risk and enhance soldier endurance while carrying heavy loads.
Superflex will use the new funds to bring the clothing to market—initially, the senior space because of its size and need, the statement said.
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 the wearer’s torso, hips and legs. Reacting to the body’s natural movements, the suit will provide power lift to naturally complement the wearer’s strength during the act of standing up, sitting down or staying upright.
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. “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.”