Austrian USound raises additional €8.9 M for boosting battery life of its wireless earbuds

Jörg Schönbacher, Andrea Rusconi-Clerici and Ferruccio Bottoni, the three founders of USound/ Photo:

Austrian micro speaker company USound has just received an additional equity tranche increasing the last financing round to $30M (around 27 million euros). These additional 8.9 million euros will accelerate the evolution of the next MEMS micro speaker generation, boosting the battery life of wireless earbuds and other wearable devices up to 12 hours, the company announced. As reported by the Austrian news site Trending Topics the funding was led by Austrian Venture Capital eQventure making the VC  the majority shareholder of the company, with 70% ownership of the shares.

Founded in 2014 by Jörg Schönbacher, Andrea Rusconi-Clerici and Ferruccio Bottoni, USound is a fabless audio company offering high-performance silicon speakers and high-quality sound solutions based on MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology, safeguarded by over 150 filed patents. With its offices in Graz, Vienna, San Francisco, Shanghai and Shenzhen, USound serves international customers, enabling them to create totally new smart audio applications with MEMS speakers.

Ferruccio Bottoni_CEO USound GmbH / Photo: USound PressKit

“We come to total funding of $30 million. Most of the money comes from private investors in Austria”, says the USound CEO, Ferrucio Bottoni, Trending Topics reported. “The production takes place in Austria and Italy. So far, we have produced about 100,000 pieces. The production of the small speakers will now be ramped up. The second generation of MEMS speakers is already on track. We’ve been working on the second generation for more than a year”, says Bottoni.

The new chip is even smaller, cheaper to produce and uses even less power, he added.

“Our main application right now is in-ear headphones and wireless headphones, but also augmented-reality glasses,” says Bottoni noting that in the future, they also want their product to be installed in smartphones or tablets.

According to the company, the soon available next-generation loudspeakers will integrate an innovative energy recovery audio amplifier resulting in the most advanced and compact micro audio system on the market. It will remarkably cutback the power consumption of the device allowing up to 12 hours of battery life for applications like true wireless earbuds and other wearable devices. The new MEMS speakers with the energy recovery amplifier will be available from Q3 2019 for selected customers.

Founded also in 2014, eQventure, on the other hand, provides Austrian companies besides growth capital a strong network as well as straightforward support in all situations from ramping up companies up to restructuring whole enterprises. Behind eQventure are successful entrepreneurs and angels investors who invest their own money and know-how in growth-oriented companies. The European Investment Fund leverages eQventure high-tech investments with its European Angel Fund.

As reported by trending Topics the VC has five partners, three senior investors, and 77 club investors.