ZPower, Camarillo, Calif, has announced it has raised $10 million in additional funding from existing investors, bringing the total to $110 million from investors. The funds will be used to accelerate the adoption of ZPower silver-zinc rechargeable batteries, used by leading hearing aid manufacturers. The batteries were recently launched by Starkey Hearing Technologies for use in the VFusionTM Rechargeable Battery System. ? ?
“We’re excited to receive this important infusion of growth capital from our investment partners,” says Dr Ross Dueber, president and CEO of ZPower. “We and our customers have a vision of changing the audiology market’s paradigm from disposable batteries to rechargeable batteries, and are committed to making it a reality.”
“ZPower’s technology has given me a new lease on life,” says Howard Schultz, lead investor and hearing aid wearer. “When I place my hearing aids in the charger each night and put them on in the morning, I’m confident the batteries will last all day. No longer do I have to worry about carrying spare batteries and having to replace them at inopportune times.”
“The new Made for iPhone® hearing instruments and other advanced wireless hearing aids demand more power than ever before,” says Troy Renken, ZPower’s vice president of product planning and electronics. “Zinc-air disposable batteries last as little as two days in these new hearing aids, requiring frequent battery purchases and replacements.” ZPower says these new batteries deliver up to three times the energy as traditional nickel metal-hydride rechargeable batteries, with more than 18 hours of continuous use, in both 312 and 13 battery sizes.
“Our higher energy content, however, makes them incompatible with many current hearing aids so we are working closely with manufacturers to quickly enable their adoption of our game changing technology.”
In addition to manufacturing silver-zinc rechargeable batteries, ZPower also offers design support services in the areas of power management and charger design for hearing instrument manufacturers. “Our design support helps our manufacturer partners quickly adapt their existing hearing aid products and electronics to ZPower batteries,” says Renken. The company specializes in voltage regulation ICs, power management ICs, charger electronics, and control algorithms for hearing aids.