A company that created a hands-free walk-talkie replacement for outdoor adventurers has raised A$12 million in a Series A, just months after shipping its first product.
Loose Cannon Systems was founded by Peter Celinksi, the former CTO at Denon & Marantz, and was previously the founder of Avega Systems, which sold to Altec Lansing in 2010.
His product, a radio communications device called Milo, was inspired by a family ski trip when he wanted to stay in touch with his kids but found phones and walkie-talkies weren’t up to the task.
So a team of software, networking, hardware, acoustics and mechanical engineers, and others spent more than three years working on the tech behind Milo before the company took the idea to market in October 2020, raising US$2.5 million with 5,700 people ordering 17,000 of the devices via a Kickstarter campaign.
The Milo retails for US$498 in a two pack. It’s waterproof, can be used in a network of up to six people over a distance of up to 600 metres. It contains six high-performance digital microphones uses audio signal processing algorithms suppress wind and other background noises.
It sends alerts if you’re about to go out of range and can also pair with a Bluetooth headset or plug-in a wired headset. Conversations are encrypted and private, across unlicensed radio spectrum.
While the Silicon Valley-based company had planned to ship in 2021, Covid supply chain issues delayed that release until November last year and already the current run has sold out.
The $12 million Series A was led by the US VC De Novo Ventures, supported by the HCF health fund-backed local VC XT Ventures, which is focused solely on tech startups in the sport, fitness, health and wellness sectors.
The push-to-talk market is worth about $12 billion.