Vesper Raises $15M Series A to Drive Pervasive Voice Interfaces

Posted: December 09, 2016

— Acoustic sensing company readies for mass-production of its uniquely rugged and wake-on-sound microphones for smartphones, hearables, Internet of Things and connected cars

BOSTON — (December 9, 2016) — Vesper, developer of the world’s most advanced acoustic sensors, today closed $15 million in Series A funding, led by Accomplice, a Boston-area venture capital firm focused on early-stage technology companies. Vesper also received an investment from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, AAC Technologies, Hyperplane, Miraenano Tech and other undisclosed investors.

“Everyone’s going to use voice interfaces. They’re the next big shift in communication,” said Jeff Fagnan, founder and general partner, Accomplice. “People may not realize that the tiny MEMS microphones inside their devices are what’s driving and enabling powerful voice UI. Vesper’s piezoelectric MEMS microphones are uniquely durable—working underwater and in dust—which people will come to expect in their devices.”

Fagnan added, “We’ve invested in MEMS for a long time, and Vesper is the fastest MEMS company to go to production in history. They have a strong team and product, from IP to manufacturing, and the market timing is great as more IoT and smart devices rely on voice control.”

“We are always interested in supporting novel technologies that can enable new and delightful Alexa experiences for our customers,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa. “We see the potential for Vesper’s technology to unlock compelling new use cases for Alexa, such as portable electronics where dirt and moisture resistance is an important attribute for microphones, and we are excited to be supporting the company with our investment.”

Massive Opportunity

The demand for MEMS microphones will reach over 5.3 billion units, with over $1.2 billion in revenue, in 2020, according to IHS Markit. The firm also predicts compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent from 2016 to 2020.[i]

“MEMS microphones are growing quickly because voice interaction (Siri, Google Now/Assistant, Alexa, etc.) is growing rapidly as is the desire for improved audio quality,” said Marwan Boustany, senior technology analyst, MEMS and Sensors, IHS Markit. “Reliable, rugged, low-power and high-performance MEMS microphones are important for the growth of battery-powered, voice interaction-enabled devices such as remotes and voice hubs like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home products.”

“Advancing truly differentiated MEMS technology that makes possible entirely new devices is Vesper’s primary mission,” said Matt Crowley, CEO Vesper. “With this significant infusion of capital from like-minded investors, we move one step closer to that goal. We will use our new capital to launch more broadly, in response to the enormous customer demand that we have experienced. We also plan to develop second-generation products, and we will expand operations and distribution.”

Vesper Technology

Vesper’s MEMS microphones represent a radical shift from the capacitive MEMS microphones that are shipping by the hundreds of millions in smartphones, hearables, smart speakers, Internet of Things devices and connected cars. Vesper’s piezoelectric design is waterproof, dustproof, particle-resistant and shockproof. From the kitchen to the beach, piezoelectric MEMS microphones make voice-interface devices practical in any environment. They are also ideally suited for far-field applications such as microphone arrays.

Vesper’s latest product, VM1010, is the only wake-on-sound MEMS microphone. VM1010 introduces the possibility of always-listening devices at practically zero power draw, supporting products that can run on a battery almost indefinitely.

About Vesper

Vesper is a privately held advanced sensor company based in Boston, MA. With origins at the University of Michigan, Vesper microphones are driving a new era of pervasive voice interfaces and acoustic event detection via a proprietary piezoelectric MEMS technology. These products include smartphones, smart cities, smart speakers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and connected cars. Vesper is funded by Accomplice, Amazon Alexa Fund, AAC Technologies, Hyperplane, Miraenano Tech, XinGang Electronics and other strategic partners. For more information about Vesper, please contact us via email: info@vespermems.com or web: www.vespermems.com.

The Vesper logo is a registered trademark of Vesper. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

-End-

Press Contacts:

Matt Crowley, Vesper

Email: crowley@vespermems.com

Maria Vetrano, Vetrano Communications

Phone: +617.876.2770 (press inquiries only)

Email: maria@vetrano.com

[i] Results based on IHS Markit Technology MEMS & Sensors Intelligence Service, 2016. Results are not an endorsement of Vesper. Any reliance on these results is at the third party’s own risk. Visit technology.ihs.com for more details.

 

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