Olive Union announced in January that it had attracted KRW 150 million (USD 141,232) in investment from Magna Investment and has been selected for the Tech Incubator Program for Startup (TIPS) run by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.
Magna Investment is the operator of TIPS, which aims to encourage private investment. Through this investment, Olive Union has unlocked access to TIPS’ R&D funds, which provide as much as KRW 900 million to startups if an accelerator or venture capital firm, registered as an operator or partner, invests in a startup.
The “Olive” is a wireless hearing aid invented and developed by Olive Union. The startup’s smartphone application measures the user’s hearing profile and syncs it to the hearing aid so that the technology naturally adjusts to the user’s environment and specific condition. Olive Union has finished registering the hearing aid with the KC Mark, South Korean MFDS, and US FDA and it will officially launch “Olive” during the first half of 2018.
Last year, Olive Union succeeded in raising crowdfunding of nearly USD 600,000 on Indiegogo, and this allowed it a sneak peek into the global market. With its newly acquired funds, Olive Union plans to focus on securing various certifications and invest in product development.
According to CEO Owen Song: “Hearing aids in South Korea cost an average of KRW 2~3 million, and the government subsidy is limited to one pair and a maximum of KRW 1.31 million per person, which makes it difficult for people with hearing disabilities.”
He also stated: “We’re looking forward to Olive, with its affordable price in the KRW 100,000 range, succeeding and creating a new product category in the hearing aid market. It will reduce discomfort and widen the range of choices for people with hearing disabilities.”
（Top photo from Pixabay）
This article, entitled “Hearing aids startup Olive Union secures funding from Magna Investment”, was written in Korean by Platum, translated by Flitto, edited by AllTechAsia.