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Tuned Secures $3.2M Seed Extension to Scale Hearing Health Benefits for Modern Workforce
Feb 23, 2024
Tuned, a digital hearing health innovator, has successfully raised an oversubscribed $3.2 million seed extension, led by Unum Group with participation from Distributed Ventures. This funding boosts Tuned's total capital to $8.2 million, underpinning its mission to integrate comprehensive hearing care into employee health benefits. The investment reflects confidence in Tuned's unique approach, offering preventive and intervention services to tackle the often-overlooked issue of hearing loss, which impacts millions of workers. By providing access to the largest online group of U.S. audiologists, Tuned delivers a full spectrum of hearing health services, from screenings to treatment for various hearing conditions, marking a significant step forward in workplace wellness.

NEW YORK Tuned, a digital hearing health company providing preventive and comprehensive hearing health for employers, today announced it secured an oversubscribed $3.2 million seed extension led by Unum Group, with participation from Distributed Ventures. Tuned's latest round brings its total funds raised to $8.2 million, signaling strong investor confidence in the company’s mission to make comprehensive hearing care a cornerstone of competitive employee health benefits.

Undiagnosed hearing issues cost employers up to $9,100 per person annually, representing $133 billion in U.S. healthcare spending compared to those without hearing loss. With 50 million Americans experiencing unaddressed hearing issues, and 60 percent of them in the workforce, Tuned addresses a critical gap in employee benefits and represents a key piece of talent attraction for employers.

“Tuned's groundbreaking approach to hearing health is shaping a future where preventive hearing care is not just an afterthought, but a cornerstone of comprehensive employee health and wellness benefits,” said James Hettenbach, Vice President, Head of Business Ventures at Unum Group. “Tuned is helping to eliminate the misconceptions and stigma surrounding hearing loss while offering an easy way for employees and their families to safeguard their hearing health.”

“At a time when headphones have become commonplace as a tool for both leisure and business, increasing the risk of hearing loss, Tuned represents a proactive way for employers to simultaneously protect their employees’ well-being and distinguish themselves in the all-important battle for talent,” said Shawn Ellis, Managing Partner for Distributed Ventures. “We believe Tuned is smart, nimble and well-positioned to serve an under-recognized market.”

Led by the largest online group of audiologists in the U.S, Tuned is the only telehealth platform that supports the entire continuum of hearing care, from prevention to intervention. Today, Tuned’s comprehensive hearing benefit is available to more than 1.4 million people.

“The only other options for hearing coverage today are discounted hearing aid programs, which cater only to those with severe hearing issues,” said Danny Aronson, CEO and co-founder of Tuned. “Tuned is different because we offer preventive screenings and education while also identifying and supporting the full spectrum of hearing loss, such as mild or moderate loss, and other auditory disorders.

“By addressing a critically overlooked part of our health, we can ensure millions of employees preserve their hearing health and prevent further loss, while positively impacting their overall health, well-being and productivity.”

Tuned is coming off an impressive year of growth in 2023 that saw the company add a record number of new employer customers to its telehealth benefits platform. The company rolled out its STAR solution, an integrated scheduling, testing, analytics and recording platform that helps employers subject to federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations achieve compliance. In June, Tuned introduced its employer-sponsored pediatric benefit offering to provide hearing screenings for adolescents.

The company’s latest investment from Unum Group will help Tuned grow its commercial team, expand its roster of audiologists to serve more employers, and develop innovative new offerings for customers.

About Tuned

Tuned is a digital health solution focused on hearing conservation and loss prevention for people of all ages. Available as an employer-sponsored benefit or OSHA-compliant solution, Tuned offers lifelong preventive hearing care and benefits, with clinically validated screenings, support and solutions for a full range of hearing issues, ranging from tinnitus and auditory processing disorders to severe hearing loss, that affect as many as one in four working adults. Today, 1.4 million people can access Tuned through employer benefits and marketplaces. Tuned is a private company headquartered in New York City, with audiologists across the United States and worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.tunedcare.com.

About Unum Group

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for 175 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2023, Unum reported revenues of $12.4 billion and paid $7.9 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2023 World's Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®.

About Distributed Ventures

Distributed Ventures is a Seed to Series A-focused venture fund that invests in entrepreneurs as they transform the future of risk across Insurtech, Digital Health and Benefits, and Fintech. As former founders, investors, and operators, the Distributed Ventures team provides deep subject matter and early-stage operational expertise to help companies find success from day one. We work closely with our strategic LPs who lend distribution support, apply their human capital expertise and leverage existing product and data to accelerate growth. Select representative investments to date include Indio Technologies (acquired by Applied Systems), Armadillo, Kindbody, Tuned and Wingspan. For more information, visit www.distrhttps://www.distributedvc.com/ibutedvc.com.
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