Earlens Corporation Raises $87M to Support Commercialization of Next Generation Hearing Aids
Posted on October 22, 2018 by Medtech[y] Staff
Earlens announced today they completed an $87 million preferred stock financing round led by new investor KCK Ltd., a family investment fund. Proceeds from this round of financing will be allocated to continued product development and the enhanced, 2019 commercial rollout.
Additional investors included Exor Seeds and previous investors Lightstone Ventures, CRG Partners, Windham Life Sciences Partners, Arch Healthcare, Relativity Health Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Aisling Capital, Vertex Global Healthcare, MS Pace LP, Cochlear, Mellon Foundation, Baltisches Haus Limited, GDN Holdings, Sightline Healthcare Opportunity, and Far East Ventures.
"KCK Group believes Earlens has created the most significant advance in hearing aid technology in decades," said Greg Garfield, Senior Managing Director, KCK Medical Technologies Group. "The dynamic listening range of this unique product is twice as broad as anything in the market. We feel confident it's game changing and will establish a new, extraordinarily high performance standard for consumers."
What is the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid?
Unlike conventional hearing aids that deliver amplified sound through tiny speakers, the Earlens system uses a small lens that's easily placed on the eardrum by a physician. It wirelessly receives a signal that's instantly converted into rich, natural sound which an audiologist can quickly fine tune to suit each user's preference.
"Our team of medical experts, engineers and technologists have spent nearly a decade developing and refining this small, highly effective device. We feel confident it can benefit many of the 35 million Americans who have significant hearing loss," said Bill Facteau, CEO and President of Earlens. "To make that happen, we are grateful for the support and feedback of our investors, advisors and early adopters as we continue refining the Earlens system to be the world's best solution for improving hearing."
This distinctive technology also eliminates the major source of the feedback, or "whistling," commonly experienced with conventional hearing aids.
Clinical studies have shown that extended bandwidth hearing can make it easier for people with mild to severe hearing impairment understand speech in noisy environments, and that the Earlens system provides a superior sound quality experience.
"On behalf of the company and existing investors, we are pleased to welcome KCK Group as we continue working on delivering the best clinical and listening experiences to medical professionals, audiologists and their patients," said Tom Prescott, Chairman of Earlens.
KCK Group managers Nael Kassar, Greg Garfield and Mike Favet are joining the Board of Directors with Chairman Tom Prescott, Hank Plain of Lightstone Ventures, Founder and Chief Medical Officer Rodney Perkins, M.D., and President and CEO Bill Facteau.