Earlens closes $118m in mixed debt and equity round

June 5, 2017

Earlens said today it closed a total of $118 million in funding, with $73 million coming from an offering of Series C preferred stock and $45 from a structured debt facility with CRG LP.

The Earlens device, which won 510(k) clearance from the FDA in October 2015, uses a laser diode attached to a behind-the-ear audio processor to transmit sound to the receiver against the patient’s eardrum, to directly contact the patient’s eardrum and use it as a speaker, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company said.

“We are pleased to partner with CRG which has unrivaled healthcare investing expertise. This investment further confirms Earlens is addressing a real patient need through proprietary, differentiated technology. We look forward to expanding our commercial footprint and bringing the Earlens Light Driven Technology to many more patients, their families and loved ones,” Earlens CEO Bill Facteau said in a press release.

Funding from the round will support expanded commercialization of its Earlens hearing aid, the company said, including scaling up its manufacturing and supporting next-generation research & development.

The $73 million Series C offering was led by new equity investors Vertex Healthcare and joined by newly vested Cochlear Ltd. (ASX:COH), CRG, RK Mellon, Windham Venture Parnters and Sightline Partners and returning investors New Enterprise Associates, Aisling Capital, Lightstone Ventures and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT).

“The Earlens light driven hearing aid is the first product to deliver the sound quality experience hearing impaired patients have been seeking. We believe this technology can dramatically transform the way hearing impairment is addressed. This financing will help Earlens expand its commercial operations while enhancing its product pipeline,” CRG managing director Luke Duster said in a prepared statement.