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Exclusive: Tuned raises $3.2M to scale hearing health benefits

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill with Benjamin Franklin wearing headphones.  

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tuned, an employer-focused hearing care platform, raised a $3.2 million seed extension, CEO Danny Aronson tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Hearing health is not prioritized like vision or dental health, despite the correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline.

Zoom in: The round was led by Unum Group, with participation from Distributed Ventures.

  • This round brings total funds raised to $8.2 million.

How it works: Tuned markets its digital hearing health platform to employers, charging a per-member-per-month fee. It targets the working population (ages 18-65) and is priced similarly to dental and vision benefits, Aronson says.

  • Employees undergo an at-home screening and a 30-minute consultation with an audiologist to review results and discuss any issues.
  • If needed, the employee will receive products to address their hearing issues, including over-the-counter devices, applications and hearing aids.
  • "We are designed for the headphone generation — massive over-users of audio devices that put us all at risk of having severe hearing loss," Aronson says.

What's next: Fresh funds give Tuned a 24-month runway, Aronson says.

  • The company, which is generating revenue, is on track to hit profitability by 2026, per the executive.
  • Tuned is also growing the OSHA compliance side of its offering with STAR, which Aronson describes as a "data-driven hearing conservation program designed for the massive health and safety market."

The big picture: A 2022 FDA decision to move hearing aids over the counter (OTC) has pushed startups and large tech companies toward the hearing health market, expected to generate roughly $12 billion in sales by 2031.

🦻 1 fun thing: The name stems from the company's mission statement.

  • "Our mission is hearing health. The company 'tunes' our members' hearing," Aronson says.
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