Innerscope Expands Scope, Gets Funds To Scale New Neuro Research Platform

Days after it became known that one top neuroscience-based marketing researcher was on the block and might be broken up, another announced it has completed a multi-million dollar round of funding that it will use to accelerate its growth, including the development of a new platform making it easier to take its biometric measurement systems into the field, and potentially, globally. Boston-based Innerscope Research Wednesday announced that it closed the final $2 million of a $9.4 million round of funding from existing investors, and said the money would be used primarily to deploy the new platform, which is currently being beta tested by some clients and could begin rolling out by the end of the year.

"We are going to release more details as we are sure that it is viable," said Dr. Carl Marci ), CEO and chief scientist of Innerscope, adding that the technology would make it easier for Innerscope to deploy its methods geographically, enabling it to scale neuromarketing studies in regional markets, or globally.



Unlike other neuromarketing researchers, Innerscope utilizes a combination of methods, including heart rates, galvanic skin response (sweating) and eye-tracking to biometrically triangulate how people's brains are working at an subconscious level about media, advertising and marketing.

Innerscope's funding comes as the field of neuromarketing gains momentum on Madison Avenue and among major media companies looking to go beyond traditional survey-based and behavioral tracking methods of marketing and media research.

The Advertising Research Foundation is poised to release a white paper detailing a test it conducted of major neuromarketing researchers, including Innerscope, last spring. That white paper is considered the first phase of an ongoing initiative by the ARF to delve deeper into the role neuroscience can play in marketing research.

It also comes as rival EmSense confirmed it is undergoing a "sales process" that could break the company up and sell off its assets, including its technology, methods and intellectual property ( MediaDailyNews Sept. 20). EmSense declined to say who its suitors are, but it has worked closely with a number of conventional marketing and media researchers over the past couple of years, including WPP's Millward Brown ad effectiveness measurement unit.

Industry executives estimate that EmSense ranked No. 2 in the neuromarketing research field, just behind San Francisco-based NeuroFocus, which was acquired by Nielsen Co. earlier this year.

Both NeuroFocus and EmSense have been mavericks in the field, and neither agreed to participate in the ARF's neuro standards initiative.

Innerscope, which likely ranks third, meanwhile will utilize its new funding to accelerate its growth. Dr. Marci said the company had already reached the point of being self-sustaining from existing revenues and cash flow, and that the new funds will allow it to accelerate.

He declined to elaborate on its new research platform, but said details would be disclosed soon and indicated that it was more about enabling its existing methods to scale faster and more broadly than changing the way it measures advertising and media.

He said Innerscope will also disclose details of a "very interesting" research project for a major media company client at a presentation during Advertising Week in New York later this month that would surprise the industry and would break new ground in the field.

One thing he said Innerscope would not do with its funding is attempt to build a "dedicated panel," like Nielsen's TV ratings. That is something EmSense had announced plans to do earlier this year, which may have been a factor contributing to the company's break up (Online Media Daily April 15).

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