Affordable Hearing Aid Maker iHear Raises $5M Series C

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iHear Medical, which makes affordable hearing aids that users can customize at home, has raised $5 million in a Series C round led by Lighthouse Capital, a Shanghai-based venture capital firm that focuses on medical devices. Japanese electronics maker Brother Industries and Ameritas Holding Company also participated.

This brings the total iHear Medical, which was founded in 2009, has raised so far to $7.8 million.

TechCrunch first profiled iHear in March, when the company was running an Indiegogo campaign to fund its latest hearing aid, which starts at $199 and comes with access to iHear’s online diagnostics software that can be used to calibrate each device.

iHear founder Adnan Shennib says iHear is getting ready to ship Indiegogo pre-orders when the device gets FDA registration, which is expected next month, and the Series C funding will allow his startup to increase production and find new online distribution channels in Q2 2015. These will include iHear’s own online store, as well as insurance customers through Ameritas, which will serve as a distribution partner. Then in 2016, iHear plans to expand into Asian markets.

iHear’s goal is to reach the 40 million Americans who suffer from some from of hearing loss, especially the 75 percent to 80 percent of adults with hearing loss who don’t own a hearing device because of lack of insurance.