After Decades of R&D, Bose Amps Up VC Deals in AR, Wearables, Wellness

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Bose: Hush and Sync Project. Both of those startups fit into Bose’s interest in health and wellness. San Diego-based Hush was developing “smart” noise-masking earbuds designed to help users sleep. Bose incorporated that technology into a prototype product, and it raised more than $450,000 from interested consumers in an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Meanwhile, Boston-based Sync Project has been studying the potential therapeutic effects of music to try and develop personalized treatments. Neither deal’s purchase price was disclosed.

Bose Ventures’ other portfolio companies include Vesper, Signature Medical, Core Wellness, Qleek, Embr Labs, and RadioPublic.

Romine’s team typically cuts checks of between $100,000 and $1 million, although it can go higher, he says. It focuses on Series A deals, but sometimes invests at earlier or later stages, he says.

Although a quarter of Bose Ventures’ investments have ended up being absorbed by Bose, Romine says he doesn’t expect that to become the norm.

“We’re not making an investment in these companies necessarily with an eye towards acquiring them,” he says. “We want to establish a significant commercial relationship” between the startups and Bose, which might take the form of licensing their technology or jointly developing new products, for example.

One of the knocks against corporate venture capital groups is they tend to come and go, Romine says. But he says his team has strong support from Bose’s upper management, and the company is committed to the effort.

“Bose tends to be a company that when we do something, we stick with stuff for a while,” Romine says.

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