Waterloo’s Thalmic Labs has raised a new $120 million (U.S.) Series B round from investors including Intel Capital, The Amazon Alexa Fund and Fidelity Investments Canada. The fresh funding will add considerably to the company’s coffers, and should help it with its goal of expanding its product line beyond the original Myo armband it currently offers.
Thalmic’s Myo is a connected band that can pick up electrical impulses from a wearer’s arm and translate them into input for a computing platform. It’s been used for things like skipping through tracks in a music player on a traditional 2D desktop computer, to controlling virtual characters in VR games, and even to helping with control of, and therapy around using prosthetic limbs.
The Myo was first prototyped in 2012, and released to the public in 2014. Thalmic managed its own pre-order campaign prior to its launch.
Thalmic’s Myo technology was ahead of its time; the interaction model it pioneered wasn’t really a natural fit for everyday computing, and it was still relatively early days for the consumer drone market, which is another demo that helps Myo generate early excitement. Fast forward two years to today, and the introduction of consumer virtual and mixed reality have helped Myo generate a need better-suited to consumer use of their tech. Plus, Thalmic’s work with medical science, as well as innovative systems like a gesture-based input system for sign language, have rounded out the merits of the platform.
Earlier this month Thalmic also opened an San Francisco office, and announced Tara Kriese as its new CMO. Kriese came to Thalmic from Samsung Electronics America, where she headed marketing for Samsung’s VR products. The San Francisco expansion and the new funding mean Thalmic is looking to hire in all aspects of the business, the company says.
As for Thalmic’s upcoming products, the company isn’t specifying what they are; instead, it just notes that they are “in the pipeline,” and that it will “share more soon.”