With the COVID-19 pandemic placing new value on telemedicine and direct-to-consumer healthcare services, Eargo has secured new funding to help take advantage of the demand and expand commercial efforts for its “virtually invisible” hearing aids.
The company’s series E round raised $71 million, led by new backers Gilde Healthcare and Longitude Capital. Previous investors including New Enterprise Associates, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation and Nan Fung Life Sciences also joined the financing.
"We are pleased to close on this financing round, which provides us with significant capital to fund our growth,” said Eargo President and CEO Christian Gormsen.
“While our business was performing well before COVID-19, the pandemic accelerated consumer demand for our hearing loss solution,” Gormsen said. “More consumers who are reluctant to purchase their hearing aids through the traditional brick and mortar clinics have recognized the benefits of our solution.”
The company cited a May COVID-19 impact survey conducted by The Hearing Review, which showed that although about 75% of audiology clinics in the U.S. and Canada were open and accepting patients as the coronavirus spread, they still saw less than half of their average revenue.
"While it is estimated that approximately 43 million people in the US suffer from hearing loss, only approximately 27% own a hearing aid, largely due to the stigma and inconvenience of the traditional clinic-based model,” said Gilde Healthcare General Partner Geoff Pardo, who joined the company’s board of directors. “Eargo has revolutionized the hearing loss solution, offering a highly advanced hearing solution available through a virtual clinic model.”
Eargo released the latest version of its wireless hearing aid in January: the fourth-generation Neo HiFi with a rechargeable, budlike design that rests completely hidden within the ear canal and can be personalized with a smartphone app.