Whisper, the maker of artificial intelligence-powered hearing aids, recently closed a $35 million Series B funding round and announced the launch of its first product, the Whisper Hearing System.
The funding round was led by Quiet Capital and had participation from previous lead investors Sequoia Capital and First Round Capital, as well as new investor IVP. With the closing of this round, Whisper has raised $53 million in capital funding.
WHAT IT DOES
The Whisper Hearing System is composed of three components: the earpieces, a portable sound processor and a compatible mobile app.
Users keep the Whisper Brain in their pocket, bag or nearby to let it pick up, optimize and transmit sounds to the earpieces in real time. The app allows Whisper to deliver software updates and gives users a place to control their sound settings.
In addition to the system, Whisper users will also have access to a network of hearing care professionals to get customized care.
All of this is available with Whisper’s monthly plan, which costs $179 a month, but is being offered for a discounted rate of $139 a month for a limited time. The plan also includes a three-year warranty that covers loss and damages. At the end of the three years, users can upgrade their hardware.
WHAT IT’S FOR
Whisper did not disclose what the funding would be used for.
Also in the connected-hearing device space is Eargo, which went public last week with an initial public offering worth $141.3 million. Eargo sells its hearing devices directly to consumers and offers online hearing screenings, telemedicine consultations and support to help customers find the right product for them.
Hearing aid company Starkey Hearing Technologies released Livio AI back in 2018 as a hearing aid that doubles as a fitness wearable. The device contains sensors that track users’ activity and then share that data with the corresponding app to give a wellness score.
ON THE RECORD
“Technology should be used to improve people’s lives,” Dwight Crow, cofounder and CEO of Whisper, said in a statement. “Many of the problems people face in hearing – whether hearing in a loud restaurant or having a device that quickly gets outdated – are solvable with recent advancements in consumer electronics and artificial intelligence. With the Whisper Hearing System, consumers get a state-of-the-art device designed in Silicon Valley that doesn’t stay static, but continually improves with artificial intelligence for better performance.”