Paris-based luxury speaker start-up Devialet has announced a strategic funding round aimed at expanding its tech to the automotive and media industries. The company says it raised €100 million ($106 million) from a batch of high-profile investors including electronics manufacturer Foxconn, carmaker Renault, Sharp (owned by Foxconn), Andy Rubin's Playground Global fund, Line parent Naver and Jay Z's Roc Nation.
Founded in 2007, Devialet is best known for two very high-end audio systems: the Expert, which bears a price too high even for its web store (upgrades to existing systems start at over $4,500), and the wireless Phantom, which begin at $1,990 apiece. "Phantom's ultra dense sound creates intense emotional experiences," the company promises of its uniquely designed, audiophile-targeted products.
"We are at the foot of Everest, we have the right equipment to get to the top," Quentin Sannié, CEO and cofounder of Devialet, told Le Figaro of the cash infusion on Monday. The company said in a separate statement that the new funding will be targeted for rolling out Devialet’s technologies across the very industries of its new global investors, namely automotive (Renault), television (Sharp) and mobile web devices and streaming services. Jay Z’s Tidal has already partnered with Phantom to offer more intuitive access using its Spark app.