Princeton Audio lands high-profile venture capital deal
A growing speaker company in the Green Lake County village of Princeton is trying raise funds for expansion and is getting assistance from a major national player in venture capital.
Princeton Audio, that since 2014 has been manufacturing a series of high-end wireless speakers with proprietary components that can be upgraded as technology changes, has joined First Democracy VC, a joint effort between Indiegogo and Microventures designed to help entrepreneurs from around the country raise money.
Princeton Audio is hoping to raise between $50,000 and $100,000 to help in its marketing efforts as it continues to grow, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This fall, Princeton Audio plans to introduce a wireless woofer that will integrate with the company’s regular wireless speakers that are housed in black walnut, cherry, mahogany and maple. Headphones will be added to the lineup in 2018, according to the company’s business plan.
Over the last six months, Princeton Audio has sold nearly 1,000 speakers with more orders on the way, said Michael Pelland, who founded the company now located in a former general store in Princeton’s downtown. In 2016, Princeton Audio had sales $154,149 and in the first five months of the year had sales of $136,000. Speakers range in price from $379 to $729, according to the company’s website.
“The last few months in particular have really prepared us to take full advantage of the opportunity this partnership represents,” Pelland said. “Traffic to our website has increased nearly 700 percent, new orders have increased (and) we simply can’t make these speakers fast enough. It’s time for us to take a big step forward.”
One of the key components to a speaker made by Princeton Audio is a proprietary and removable combination USB and mini-plug that allows the speaker to adapt to changing technology. The plug was invented by Pelland who has had his hand in more than 30 patents as a design engineer over the last 25 years.
In 2015, Princeton Audio took first place and won $5,000 in the Northeast Wisconsin Business Plan Competition and took third place at America’s Pitch Tank in Appleton. In 2014, the speaker captured bronze in the International Design Awards competition that attracted more than 100 entries from 52 countries. The Tri-County Regional Economic Development Corp. that serves Marquette, Waushara and Green Lake counties, is also an investor in the company.