Paris-based Devialet announced today it has raised $106 million in venture capital as the company seeks to capitalize on strong reviews of its connected Phantom speakers.
A renowned name among high-end audiophiles for years, Devialet unveiled the $2,000 Phantom speaker in 2015 to carve a new niche for itself with sophisticated consumers. Over the past year, the company has been courting tech influencers and celebrities while starting to open a series of retail stores where customers could experience the power of the Phantoms.
With the new money, the company says it hopes it introduce its sound technology to cars, televisions, as well as Internet of Things devices. In addition, the company will continue to open smaller, immersive stores like the ones it has in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as larger flagship stores beyond the ones it currently has in Paris, London and New York City.
“This fundraising marks a new stage in our incredible development towards being a global tech company and leader in our industry,” said Quentin Sannié, cofounder and CEO of Devialet. “Our ambition is to be the pioneering role model of technology at the service of emotion throughout the world. We are extremely happy and proud to welcome the new investors, most of whom are entrepreneurs.”
The round was led by Ginko Ventures, but also included Foxconn, Korelya Capital, Groupe Renault, Sharp Corporation, Playground Global, Naver, Roc Nation, Future French Champions, CM-CIC Investissement, and BPI France. The company noted that many of the investors were sought out not just for financial reasons, but also strategic and geographic ones.
Playground Capital is the venture fund started by Android founder Andy Rubin, who loves the Phantom so much that he bought 50 of them.
“I am a huge fan of Devialet,” Rubin said in a statement. “I love the technology and the team. I believe Devialet is the most disruptive company in the audio business. It is my dream to work with Quentin and his team to change the way people appreciate media of all types.”
The investment by Korelya Capital is also notable because the fund, which focuses on European and Korean investments, was cofounded earlier this year by France’s former digital minister Fleur Pellerin. She will join Devialet’s board.
“Devialet is a real gem that has been able to innovate and put sound at the heart of a technological revolution,” Pellerin said in a statement.
The company says it currently has 230 employees, about double its headcount from one year ago.
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