Swedish audio firm Dirac raises $17.7m, bringing company valuation to $142m

Swedish startup Dirac Research, whose tools and hardware purportedly “improve” the audio quality of sound recordings for listeners, has raised $17.73 million in fundraising.

Dirac’s digital audio solutions are used by brands such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, BMW, Volvo, Huawei, OPPO, Xiaomi, Motorola, Harman, Klipsch, RHA, and more.

This is the company’s largest fundraising round to date, almost three times the $6 million it raised last year.

According to Dirac CEO Peter Friedrichsen, this new round of fundraising brings the company’s total valuation to just under $142.2 million.

Dirac says these new funds will be used to develop its “next-generation” of AI-based digital audio solutions, including automotive, headphones, mobile, AR/VR, streaming, and more.

The funds will also be used to better position Dirac as a “leader” in an audio industry where innovation is being driven by software, rather than hardware, says the company.

Over the past year, Dirac has signed OEM deals with brands such as Onkyo, Pioneer, Philips, Hyundai, Volvo, Polestar, BYD, Klipsch, and ASUS.

It has also developed new sales channels, working with semiconductor and middleware companies like NXP, Analog Devices (ADI), and CRI Middleware to integrate Dirac audio directly into chipsets and platforms.

The newest funds come from two investors, TIN Fonder and DIG Investment, who both pledged $8.9 million each. DIG Investment previously invested in Dirac during its $6 million round of fundraising.

Dirac has also “recently realigned” its senior leadership team to “fully capitalize on this software-driven industry trend,” says the company.

Peter Friedrichsen joins the company as its CEO. Dirac’s former CEO, Mathias Johansson, will focus on innovation as its Chief Product Officer.

Wade Giles joins the company as VP of North America and will drive new partnerships with semiconductor manufacturers. Klas Åström has been appointed as Dirac’s Chief Financial Officer.

In 2020, Dirac also appointed former Spotify executive Jonathan Forster to its Board of Directors.

“we fully intend to make Dirac the driving force in audio industry innovation across all platforms, devices, and environments.”

Peter Friedrichsen, DIRAC RESEARCH

“Since the dawn of reproduced sound, advancements in audio performance have historically been driven by hardware innovation.

“This paradigm began to shift when companies like Dirac first introduced technologies that demonstrated the ability of software to achieve new, higher levels of performance.

“Today, we believe that the future of sound is in the hands of software and, with this investment, we fully intend to make Dirac the driving force in audio industry innovation across all platforms, devices, and environments.

“We have traveled a long way since company inception.

“We evolved from a niche designer of digital audio solutions for specific applications to a tier one company in audio technology, collaborating with many of the world’s largest and most esteemed tech brands.

“Now, with our new funding and realigned executive leadership team, we’re poised to fully capitalize on our growth potential and intend to make Dirac synonymous with superior sound experiences around the world.”

“It is our belief that the next generation of audio experiences will be software defined.”

Carl Armfelt, TIN Fonder

Carl Armfelt, Portfolio Manager, TIN Fonder, said: ”Dirac has witnessed significant growth in recent years.

“It is our belief that the next generation of audio experiences will be software defined, and that a deep tech audio company like Dirac can be a significant player in that field.

“The company has proven that digital audio software is capable of unlocking the full potential of hardware products, and that its suite of industry-leading, patented solutions will continue to usher in a new era of audio.”Music Business Worldwide