iHear Medical, Inc. announced on Monday (November 24th) the expansion of its third round of financing to $5M.The participants in this round included Brother Industries (Japan) and Ameritas Holding Company. The C-round was led earlier by Lighthouse Capital, a Shanghai-based venture capital firm with a focus on early stage investments in medical devices and IT.
Founder and CEO of iHear Medical, Adnan Shennib, stated,“We are excited to have Brother and Ameritas join our diverse and distinguished group of investors. These new alliances will allow iHear to explore advanced manufacturing capabilities and innovative distribution channels.”
iHear’s web-enabled hearing products are planned for online distribution in second quarter of 2015 for US markets, after fulfilling existing pre-orders from the company’s successful 2014 Indiegogo campaign. The company is dedicated to developing and delivering technologically advanced hearing solutions directly to consumers at a fraction of the cost of traditional hearing aids. In the US alone, there are over 40 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss, and while the vast majority can be successfully treated with a hearing device, only 22% currently use them.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 5% of the world’s population, or approximately 360 million people, suffer from a disabling hearing loss. While 95% of individuals with hearing loss can be successfully treated with hearing aids, less than 10% use them due to persistent barriers including high cost, poor performance and quality, limited access, and the stigma associated with wearing a visible hearing aid.
Recent studies indicate significant rise in hearing loss prevalence due to an aging population, increase in environmental noise, and the use of personal listening devices. Hearing loss is associated with a wide range of social, economic, and health problems caused by communication barriers and reduced access to health care for those suffering from hearing loss.
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