Thalmic Labs, the Canada-based wearable technology company, has announced a substantial $120 million (USD) Series B funding round led by Intel Capital, the Amazon Alexa Fund, and Fidelity Investments Canada.
Founded out of Ontario in 2012, Thalmic is best known for the Myo, a gesture- and motion-guided armband that taps the electrical activity in your muscles to control a range of devices such as drones, computers, smartphones, and other contraptions with built-in wireless connectivity.
Prior to now, Thalmic had raised around $20 million, the majority of which arrived via its Series A round back in 2013. Flush with cash, the company says it will now ramp up its development efforts, in terms of both new and existing products.
“We founded Thalmic knowing that in order to produce truly breakthrough products, we’d have to invent entirely new underlying technologies to bring them to life,” said Stephen Lake, CEO and cofounder of Thalmic Labs, in a press release. “This investment will be used to fuel continued growth and development of future products already in the pipeline, and will help us realize our vision of a new era of computing, where the real and digital worlds will blend seamlessly.”
In addition to the size of the latest cash influx, however, the high-profile investors on board are also noteworthy. Amazon announced last year that it was making $100 million available via the new Amazon Alexa Fund, with a view toward investing in voice-control technology. Perhaps this provides some clue as to what Thalmic may be working on — namely, adding voice-control smarts into its future products.
Intel’s involvement is also notable, given that it’s one of the world’s major chip-makers and has been pushing further into the internet of things (IoT), of which wearables are a major driving force. It’s also worth noting here that Intel already invested in Thalmic as part of the earlier Series A round.
“In the three years since Intel Capital first invested in Thalmic, they’ve made tremendous breakthroughs in technology,” said Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager at Intel’s New Technology Group. “These innovations augment Intel’s strategy for wearable technology and align with our vision to bring new and exciting experiences to users.”
Thalmic Labs employs more than 100 people, including engineers and researchers, at its Canadian HQ, and it says it will “continue to grow the team aggressively” in both Waterloo and its San Francisco hub.