Eargo, a US-based medical device company, has raised $71m in an equity financing round to accelerate the commercialisation of its direct-to-consumer hearing loss solution.

The financing round was led by new co-investors Gilde Healthcare and Longitude Capital. It was also joined by the company’s existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation and Nan Fung Life Sciences.

Gilde Healthcare general partner Geoff Pardo and Longitude Capital founder and managing director Juliet Bakker will join Eargo’s board of directors as part of the deal.

Eargo offers virtually invisible, rechargeable, completely-in-canal, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated, exempt Class I hearing aid, along with online hearing screening and telecare consultation and support.

Consumers can purchase the solution online or over the phone. They can also have personalised consultation and support from licensed hearing professionals through phone, text, email or video chat.

Eargo president and CEO Christian Gormsen said: “We are pleased to close on this financing round, which provides us with significant capital to fund our growth. While our business was performing well before Covid-19, the pandemic accelerated consumer demand for our hearing loss solution.

“More consumers who are reluctant to purchase their hearing aids through the traditional brick and mortar clinics have recognised the benefits of our solution.”

It is estimated that approximately 43 million people suffer from hearing loss in the US. However, only 27% of the affected people own hearing aid due to the stigma and inconvenience of the traditional clinic-based model.

Geoff Pardo said: “Eargo has revolutionised the hearing loss solution, offering a highly advanced hearing solution available through a virtual clinic model. We are excited to be a part of the Eargo team and their vision to transform this market, bringing it into the 21st century.”

Juliet Bakker said: “A hearing solution developed with the consumer in mind was long overdue. Eargo has truly put the consumer first, from consultations and solution design to the buying experience and highly rated customer support. We are delighted to partner with Eargo to help fuel the growth of this unique business.”