High-end speaker manufacturer Devialet raises $50 million


French startup Devialet has raised a new $50 million (€50 million) financing round from two existing investors – Crédit Mutuel Equity and Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund – and a new mysterious Asian investor. Devialet does not want to share the name of this new investor. All I know is that it is an industrial company in China.

This funding round is relevant as startup funding has slowed down in France in recent months, as it has in other European markets. The financing round is a traditional investment round in exchange for equity in the company – there is no debt component. Devialet does not share the company’s valuation, but it is higher than the previous valuation.

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If you’re not familiar with Devialet, the startup designs high-quality speakers of all shapes and sizes. The company’s flagship is the Phantom I speaker. With this egg-shaped speaker, the Devialet engineering team promises no background noise, no saturation and no distortion thanks to its patented sound amplification technology.

The result is an extremely capable speaker that starts at $2,300. When you turn it on, it feels like a much bigger speaker – it can be very loud. This speaker is also versatile as it supports AirPlay, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and UPnP.

Over time, Devialet has expanded to other products and markets. In 2019, the company released a smaller speaker, the Phantom Reactor, which is now called the Phantom II.

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When it comes to new product categories, the company has also released a pair of earbuds and a soundbar for your TV. With the Devialet Dione soundbar in particular, the company has ambitious goals. There are probably more people looking to buy a home theater setup than audiophiles looking for speakers that cost thousands of dollars.

In addition to Devialet’s own products, the startup also has a licensing department for its audio technology and patents. In recent 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 international markets and its licensing strategy. In the past three years, Devialet has opened six stores in China, five in South Korea and several stores in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia. Three of the startup’s five main markets are now in Asia. Although Devialet is a relatively niche brand, the company reports double-digit growth.

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“Our continued partnership with both Crédit Mutuel Equity and Bpifrance demonstrates a clear confidence in our business strategy and in the truly unique technologies developed by our engineers,” said Devialet CEO in a statement. “Meanwhile, the participation of our new partners in the Asian market will be a significant asset as we continue to build our licensing strategy, and will provide ample opportunities to further expand Devialet’s presence in Asia.”