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Esteem hearing device maker Envoy Medical looking for up to $20 million

The St. Paul, Minnesota company that got national attention for a viral YouTube video last month is looking to raise up to $20 million in equity offerings, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

Envoy Medical Corp. is the maker of Esteem, a battery-operated, implantable hearing device that received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 2010. It picks up vibrations from the ear drum and converts them into electric signals, which are cleaned up through a sound processor and converted back into mechanical vibrations transmitted into the cochlea.

Since its approval, Esteem has gotten a boost from an advertising deal with Rush Limbaugh and a YouTube video posted by 29-year-old Sarah Churman, who was born deaf and documented the moment she heard her own voice for the first time using the Esteem. The company reported a 150 percent jump in sales inquiries following the video’s posting.

The company has also attracted some high-profile investors, including Starkey Laboratories Inc., Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and former Medtronic Inc. Vice Chairman Glen Nelson.

CEI Patrick Spearman did not return a phone call inquiring about the fundraise.

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