Maayan Ventures Ltd. (TASE:MAYN) has reported the closing down of portfolio company AudioDent Ltd., which was once considered one of the incubator's more promising projects. AudioDent developed a hearing aid that was positioned in the mouth, rather than the ear. The device was supposed to have technological advantages in terms of sound quality, as well as the fact that it was not visible to the eye.
AudioDent was on the verge of an exit 18 months ago, with an international hearing aid company set to buy it for $3.5 million. $1 million was to be paid in advance, and the rest subject to the company meeting milestones. Maayan would have covered its investment, but not much more, on the exit.
Sources at the company believed that the exit was at too low a price, and held off the sale, but later the buyer withdrew the deal, mainly because it was hit by the global economic crisis. AudioDent apparently sought a range of ways to commercialize its product, but to no avail. After no leading hearing aid manufacturers expressed an interest in the product, the company's investors decided not to take the risk of further development or the independent marketing of the device.
The hearing aids market is a complicated market, because, in the US, they are sold directly to consumers, with no insurance reimbursement. Marketing is therefore as difficult and complicated as the marketing of a consumer product.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 31, 2010
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