Qualia Oto Closes $1.42mm Series Seed A Preferred Round 1 Investment to Push Cochlear Implant Advancements
January 31, 2022 – Qualia Oto successfully closed its first capital round, bringing in $1.42 million to support the company’s next stage in growth and development.
The company’ mission is to enhance the quality of life through better hearing technologies, with its primary focus on improving the effectiveness of cochlear implants.
“The ear is designed to convert sound waves into electrical signals which are sent to the brain for processing. Failure along that path requires intervention,” CFO Benedict Voit said.
A cochlear implant provides needed assistance via its two components: the first is external, usually hiding behind the ear, which collects sound saves and transmits their converted electrical signals; the second is internal, surgically inserted into the inner-ear to appropriately carry those signals through the ear to the brain.
“Our solution is unique,” Voit continued. “Our innovative materials are softening, biocompatible polymers designed to hold dozens of embedded electrodes. Once surgically inserted into the inner-ear, our polymers can soften to reduce insertion trauma, and the smaller device footprint enables deeper penetration – two key components to improve cochlear implant functionality.”
Qualia Oto, housed at UT Dallas’ Venture Development Center, conducts research both on campus as well as at an international lab in Hermosillo, Mexico. The company’s senior research engineers are developing these revolutionary prototypes.
The company will use the capital round funds to hire new personnel, expand its lab functionality, and enhance its sales and marketing. Qualia Oto has exclusive licensing rights to a protected IP portfolio and is in active discussions with major market players.
“To become a successful biomedical device company, we have to recognize the needs of each party involved: the cochlear implant manufacturer, the hospital, the surgeon, the insurance company, and ultimately the patient,” Voit said. “Most important is the patient. The patient wants a better quality of life, and we want to help provide that.”
CEO Connie Manz (MS), President Walter Voit (PhD), and CMO Kenneth Lee (MD-PhD) co-founded Qualia Oto in 2017.
“Qualia Oto combines a decade of material science expertise from Dr. Voit’s lab at UT Dallas with nearly 20 years of Dr. Lee’s experience in surgery and research related to treating hearing loss,” Manz said. “We are excited about how our new technologies can dramatically expand the capabilities of cochlear implants.”
In addition to closing part 1 of this Series Seed A Preferred round, Qualia Oto recently won the UT Dallas Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s “Big Idea Competition – Research Track” awarding the company $100,000 to continue its business development. Plus, additional demand throughout the holiday season convinced Qualia Oto to open part 2 of this capital round.
“This is a stimulating stage for our company,” Voit added. “We have the monetary, intellectual, and technical foundations for significant growth in the coming years.”