Investments For Hearables Surge

Investments For Hearables Surge

Editor’s Note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article by Ruochen Huang.

These days the hardware you put in your ear can do much more than just play music.

Although new technologies are just coming to market, the earworn wearables sector has companies developing products that change the way people perceive devices worn in and around the ear — and it’s projected to be a $5 billion market by 2018.

According to CrunchBase data, nine VC-funded and crowdfunded “hearable” companies captured nearly $52 million since 2009. And some of the biggest names specializing in music entertainment and sound engineering (like Live Nation Entertainment’s investment in Doppler Labs) are joining the chorus of support for this emerging technology sector.

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Venture Capitalists Help Wearable Companies Expand Their Wares

Venture Capitalists Help Wearable Companies Expand Their Wares

When you hear the term “wearable,” you probably think of wristbands, such as the Fitbit or the Apple Watch. In reality, these devices represent only a small portion of an increasingly diverse sector.

There are augmented reality headsets, such as the Microsoft Hololens, interactive textiles like the conductive yarn that Google’s Project Jacquard is developing for full-body monitoring, and hearing devices such as Eargo, which raised $13 million from Maveron and others in June.

According to CrunchBase, venture investors have spent nearly $2.6 billion backing 138 wearable companies since 2008. Over half of this total ($1.6 billion) has gone into 45 California-based startups.

Between 2013 and 2014, venture funding for wearable companies nearly tripled from $361.5 million to just over $1 billion. While this is primarily due to Magic Leap’s two funding rounds that alone total $592 million, other notable fundings include Athos’ $12.2 million Series B led by DCM Ventures and Misfit Wearable’s $40 million Series C led by GGV Capital.

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