Founders: Rodney Williams, Chris Ostoich, Josh Glick
CEO: Eric Allen
Funding: $30 million
Valuation: $66.7 million (PitchBook)
Key technologies: Internet of things, Data over sound
Industry: Audio, mobile
LISNR is a way to transmit data using sound that's inaudible but allows for easy and secure transmission between two devices. The Cincinnati-based company allows fast, reliable and secure communication between devices — like smartphones — that have a speaker or a microphone. The company says its proprietary technology acts as a proxy for data transmission, thereby eliminating the need for complex and expensive radio frequency or audio fingerprinting-based technologies. And unlike Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, LISNR audio technology is not dependent on hardware or connectivity; it just needs sound to make a connection.
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The company sells its wireless transmission technology to companies with connected products and services across a number of different industries, and its customers include Ticketmaster, Visa, Intel, Flywheel and RideYellow, a leading taxi app. The company says it is on pace to power more than 100 million devices by the end of the year.
In fact, late last year LISNR and RideYellow announced a partnership whereby RideYellow passengers and drivers will be able to connect via LISNR's ultrasonic data transmission technology-stand walkups, YellowRide users will now be able to hop in a cab at an airport or hotel, open the RideYellow app on their phone and automatically connect to the vehicle they're in using LISNR's ultrasonic technology and pay for the ride. LISNR says all taxis on the RideYellow app operating in its markets in southern California and several cities in Florida will utilize the technology.
LISNR has raised $30 million in funding since it started in 2012, including from investors such as Intel Capital and Synchrony Financial.