French start-ups Devialet raised a new round of funding of $50 million (€50 million) from two existing investors – Crédit Mutuel Equity and Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund – and a new mysterious Asian investor. Devialet did not want to share the name of this new investor. All I know is that it is an industrial company based in China.
This funding round is relevant because start-up funding has slow down in recent months in France – just like in other European markets. A funding round is a traditional round of investment in exchange for equity in the company – with no debt component. Devialet doesn’t share the company’s valuation — but it’s higher than its previous valuation.
If you’re not familiar with Devialet, the startup designs high-end speakers of all sizes and shapes. The company’s main product is Phantom Speaker I. With this egg-shaped speaker, Devialet’s engineering team promises no background noise, no saturation and no distortion thanks to its proprietary audio amplification technology.
The result is an extremely capable speaker that starts at $2,300. When you turn it on, it feels like a much larger speaker – it can be huge. This speaker is also very versatile as it supports AirPlay, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and UPnP.
When it comes to new product categories, the company also releases a pair of headphones and a soundbar for your TV. With the Devialet Dione soundbar in particular, the company has ambitious goals. There are more people who want to buy a home cinema device than audio enthusiasts looking for speakers that cost thousands of dollars.
In addition to Devialet’s own products, the startup has a division that licenses its audio technology and patents. Over the past few years, it has partnered with Sky, Iliad, Altice USA and Huawei to release devices with Devialet-branded speakers.
With today’s funding round, the company plans to double down on its international market and licensing strategy. For example, in the past three years, Devialet has opened six stores in China, five stores in South Korea, and several stores in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia. Three of the startup’s top five markets are currently in Asia. While Devialet is a relatively niche brand, the company is reporting double-digit growth.
“Our continued partnership with both Crédit Mutuel Equity and Bpifrance shows a clear confidence in our business strategy and in the truly unique technologies that have been developed by our engineers. ,” Devialet CEO said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the entry of our new partners in the Asian market will be a significant asset as we continue to build on our licensing strategy and will present numerous opportunities to build further building Devialet’s presence in Asia.”