Australian-founded communications startup Loose Cannon Systems raises $12 million in Series A

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 was sold to Altec Lansing in 2010.

His product, a radio communication device called Milo, was inspired by a family ski trip when he wanted to keep in touch with his kids, but found that phones and walkie-talkies weren’t up to the task.

So brought a team of software, network, hardware, acoustics and mechanical engineers and others more than three years working on the technology behind Milo before the company launched the idea in October 2020, raising $2.5 million with 5,700 people ordering 17,000 of the devices through a Kickstarter campaign.

The Milo retails for US$498 in a pack of two. It is waterproof, can be used in a network of up to six people over a distance of up to 600 meters. It contains uses six powerful digital microphones audio signal processing algorithms suppress wind and other background noise.

It sends alerts if you’re about to go out of range and you can too pair with a Bluetooth headset or plugin a Wired headphones. Conversations are encrypted and private, over the unlicensed radio spectrum.

While the Silicon Valley-based company planned to ship in 2021, supply chain issues from Covid delayed that release until last November, and the current run has already sold out.

The $12 million Series A was led by US-based VC De Novo Ventures, backed by HCF health fund-backed local VC XT Ventures, which focuses exclusively on tech startups in the sports, fitness, health and wellness sectors.

The push-to-talk market is worth about $12 billion.

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