Squease’s vests are typically hidden beneath a hooded top and can be inflated with air to deliver “hug-like pressure”, which has been shown to combat feelings of anxiety.
The technique for treating autism was highlighted in the television series Grey’s Anatomy, when actress Mary McDonnell played Dr Virginia Dixon, pictured, a surgeon with Asperger syndrome who other characters had to hug to relieve her anxiety.
The cash was raised for Essex-based Squease through Braveheart’s London-based subsidiary, Envestors.
Investors who took part in the fund-raising included Mike Greene, the social entrepreneur and star of Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire. The firm will use the cash for working capital, hiring staff and protecting its copyright.