South African startup hearX Group, which is striving to increase access to hearing healthcare through smart digital solutions, has completed a US$8.3 million Series A fundraise as it bids to expand its reach in the United States (US).
Founded out of the University of Pretoria, hearX Group started trading in 2016 with the purpose of commercialising digital technologies to change the face of hearing care. It initially focused on clinical digital audiometers, later branching out into lead generation tools for audiologists and retailers.
Its latest offering includes an end-to-end hearing care solution that allows role-players in the hearing aid industry to compete in the direct-to-consumer and over-the-counter markets, and it is for this that the new funding round has been raised in order to scale.
The US$8.3 million funding round is led by Bose Ventures, the US-based venture capital group within Bose Corporation, which invested US$3 million in this round. South African VC firm HAVAÍC, Futuregrowth Asset Management and Sphere Holdings completed the round.
The investment has boosted hearX’s launch of its premium, direct-to-consumer hearing aid solution – Lexie Hearing – in the US. Using smart technology, Lexie offers a comprehensive and affordable US-developed hearing aid solution from as little as US$39 over 24 months without compromising on quality.
Consumers can enjoy the convenience of purchasing quality hearing aids online, programme them from the comfort of their homes, and have access to hearing experts on-demand. Since launching, Lexie Hearing has collaborated with Walgreens, the second largest pharmacy store chain in the country, to sell the Lexie Lumen hearing aids online across 38 states.
“Support from Bose Ventures will enable hearX to more aggressively tackle hearing loss and advance hearing care solutions. Our team has worked tirelessly to touch over 1.5 million lives globally, so an investment of this magnitude in hearX is tremendously rewarding and motivating for us all,” said hearX chief executive officer (CEO) Nic Klopper.
Amrish Narrandes, head of unlisted equity transactions at Futuregrowth, said his company was committed to backing entrepreneurs that are creating proudly South African products, services and IP, and taking it to the rest of the world.
“What we particularly liked about hearX is that it is disrupting the traditional hearing healthcare industry by democratizing and decentralising access to hearing care,” he said.