As part of the round Vesper also received investments from Accomplice, Amazon Alexa Fund, Baidu, Bose Ventures, Hyperplane, Sands Capital, Shure, Synaptics, ZZ Ventures and other undisclosed investors. The round brings Vesper’s total funding to date to $40 million.
The company said the money would enable it to scale the mass production of its rugged microphones for voice-first applications such as smartphones, hearables, IoT devices and automobiles.
Vesper launched its first MEMS microphone, the VM101, three years ago (see Vesper launches piezoelectric MEMS microphone ). Vesper’s best-selling product is the VM1010 with ZeroPower Listening, a MEMS microphone that enables voice activation in battery-powered consumer devices.
Vesper cited the expectation of market research firm Yole Deveoppement that the market for MEMS microphones will exceed 5.6 billion units and $1.1 billion in revenue in 2018 and said it has partnered with manufacturing partners Globalfoundries, Unisem and TSMC that can scale to any volume.
"Our vision is for Alexa to be everywhere, and that means devices need to be built with durable, high-quality components that stand up to the demands of many different environments, especially on-the-go scenarios that require better power efficiency," said Paul Bernard, director of the Amazon Alexa Fund, in a statement issued by Vesper.
"Vesper has attracted powerful investors including Amazon, Baidu and Bose. People are now expecting a ramp up in the production to fulfill market needs, especially in the smart speakers or wearable markets," said Guillaume Girardin, division director at Yole, in the same statement.
Vesper’s piezoelectric design is waterproof, dustproof, particle-resistant and shockproof and suitable for far-field applications such as microphone arrays.
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