A startup raised in the VeloCity Garage at the Communitech Hub has earned a $14.5-million vote of confidence from investors.
Thalmic Labs, which makes the MYO armband that turns gestures into computer commands, announced Wednesday that it had closed a Series A financing round with several venture capital firms and individuals.
It is the largest Series A round raised by any company after completing a stay with YCombinator.
“This is exactly what VeloCity and the Communitech Hub are designed to do,” said Iain Klugman, Communitech’s president and CEO. "I'm thrilled with the success these guys have had. They are an amazing example of the caliber of entrepreneurs coming out of Waterloo Region."
Series A funding typically marks the first wave of venture capital a company attracts after its products begin to sell.
Thalmic founders Stephen Lake, Aaron Grant and Matthew Bailey came out of the mechatronics engineering program at the University of Waterloo (UW) and founded Thalmic Labs in 2012.
MYO picks up the electrical activity of muscles in the hand and forearm, and communicates gestures -- via Bluetooth -- to digital devices. The units sell for $149.
Working out of the VeloCity Garage, the startup incubator for UW student and alumni projects, Thalmic improved the MYO armband and widened its range of uses. Thalmic was part of YCombinator’s Winter 2013 cohort, drawing 10,000 orders for MYO in two days.
“The Thalmic story is a great example of what happens in the Waterloo Region ecosystem,” Klugman said. “Our job is to connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need to be successful, and be there to help them grow.”