Brain training service Lumosity hits 35M users and is now adding 100K users a day

One hundred thousand new users a day is a benchmark you typically associate with Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest — in other words, a fluffy, viral consumer startup. Brain-training service Lumosity, on the other hand, is vegetables to most social media sites’ junk food.

And yet the service is growing at an astounding rate.

Lumosity hit a very significant 35 million users this year, and as of January, has been adding 100,000 new users each and every day. The company’s mobile app has been downloaded almost 50,000 times a day — hitting the No. 1 spot in the App Store’s education category for both free and top-grossing apps — and 17 million unique Americans access the site every month.

All of those numbers are very impressive, particularly for a site with nowhere near as high a profile as many smaller services.

“We haven’t really done a big push with the tech community,” Lumosity chief executive officer Kunal Sarkar told me yesterday. “But we’ve achieved pretty good consumer adoption.”

The site is like a gym for your brain, said Sarkar. Using strategies developed from academic research into cognition and neuroscience, Lumosity helps its users improve their ability to pay attention, remember information, and perform neurocognitive tasks — all of which are fairly fundamental to success in school, career, or even life.

“Learning is is a lifelong need,” said Sarkar. “But there really aren’t very good tools out there for helping you do it better.”