AAVAA closes $2 million CAD to develop smart listening device

AAVAA's tech allows users to control their electronic devices using their brain.

Montréal-based startup AAVAA Technologies has secured a $2 million CAD pre-seed funding round to continue developing its personal audio enhancement technology.

The financing came from Anges Quebec, Anges Quebec Capital, Investissement Quebec, and TandemLaunch. Anges Quebec member and angel investor Guillaume Courtemanche will join AAVAA’s board as part of the investment.

“This investment will accelerate our commercialization program, which began with the launch of our demonstration and development kits in January 2023”

AAVAA is developing what it calls a “bionic ear” that combines sensors and integrated software to detect a person’s attention while using wearable devices. On its website, the startup states that it believes people should be in full control of their devices, and its tech enables devices to understand and react to a person’s needs, without any manual intervention.

According to AAVAA, its technology is capable of automatically turning up someone’s voice, controlling devices with attention-based commands and monitoring your brain and body’s health.

AAVAA says its technology can be integrated into earphones, earbuds, eyeglasses, and other wearable accessories. Wearers can “select” from their surroundings by facing or looking at the noise source, and then “clicking on it” by intentionally blinking to create an action, according to AAVAA.

The startup’s sensors detect head direction, eye-gaze direction, intentional eye blinks, and other intentional facial movements to let users select what they want to hear in their surrounding environment.

The round included $750,000 CAD from the Impulsion PME program, administered by Investissement Québec. The program, founded in 2021 with a pool of $50 million CAD, aims to help early-stage companies in Québec with high growth potential to have access to investment capital. Deep tech startup incubator TandemLaunch also participated in the funding after AAVAA took part in its incubator program.

AAVAA was launched in 2021 by current CTO Naeem Komeilipoor, COO Lex Schindler and CEO Barclay Knapp, who took on the leading role in July 2021. Knapp is a Harvard business graduate who has spent over 35 years financing startups.

“This investment will accelerate our commercialization program, which began with the launch of our demonstration and development kits in January 2023,” said Knapp. “Working closely with OEMs and applications developers, we expect to begin licensing AAVAA’s platform for commercial use by mid-2023.”

Following its graduation from TandemLaunch in the fall of 2021, AAVAA stated plans to raise a round between $6-8 million USD with TandemLaunch having pre-committed for 25 percent. This $2 million round appears to be the only capital AAVAA has raised since then. The company did not respond to questions by press time.

Feature image courtesy Pixabay.

Ryan O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor is a journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University and an intern staff writer for BetaKit. Follow him on Twitter @oconss2.

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