Umeå-based audio company Limes Audio immediately stood out from the crowd. In 2010, when Almi Invest made its first investment, the company’s highly technically skilled and business-minded founders had already generated cash flow, which is almost unheard of. And the crystal clear sound generated by the company’s software was to become the best on the market. It was so good that Google itself decided to buy the company seven years later. Since then, Limes is a part of Google.
- We were one of the first external investors and we saw great potential in Limes Audio’s technology and future applications. We were also impressed by the dedicated team that wanted to change the world with better audio, says Lena Fridlund Forsgren, Investment Manager at Almi Invest.
Limes Audio’s patented software Truevoice used echo cancellation, noise reduction and beamforming to enhance the sound from loud speaker systems and audio. In essence, it made the audio crystal clear. The market included all manufacturers of products for loud speaker communication.
Limes’ technology solved the major problem of poor sound quality, for example during video conferences.
Almi Invest worked actively with the company during its seven years as a shareholder, for example by networking.
- We helped recruit a chairman with experience in the industry,” says Lena Fridlund Forsgren, who was on Limes’ board for seven years. “Throughout the entire journey with the company we’ve acted as an independent discussion partner for the founders, and for a time parts of the company even moved in with us while they were looking for new premises.
Google discovered the company when Limes began to attract several well-known brands as customers and gained a reputation as a leading operator within audio technology. The company’s founders also spent a great deal of time in Silicon Valley – you need to make face-to-face contact to build a good relationship. This led to Google’s decision to buy Limes in 2017. The company is now part of Google.
- We’re delighted to be able to share in Limes Audio’s successes, and it was an excellent exit for us, says Lena Fridlund Forsgren.
When Google purchased Limes in 2017, Almi Invest (6.6 percent) and Partnerinvest Norr (2.5 percent) both sold their holdings. Partnerinvest Norr is a regional fund within Almi Invest. The purchase price was not made public.