Auris is seeking $250,00 in funding to finance the start-up cost of the Company, which includes exclusively licensing CRISP technology from WARF, and making the necessary software enhancements to make CRISP ready for delivery, which would include packaging, an instruction manual, demos, and tech support. Additional funding is necessary for research and development of future hearing systems, as mentioned in the Future Products and Services Section. Finally, the additional financing will be used by Auris Solutions to purchase the necessary capital equipment needed to expand the business especially as regards to international opportunities.
Structuring Control of Auris Solutions' Board
Auris proposes a Board consisting of three members, where one director is elected by the founders, one director elected by the investors, and a third neutral director selected by both founders and external investors or by a designated third party.
8.1 Start-up Funding
Auris is seeking $250,00 in investment funding to finance the start-up cost of the company.
8.2 The Investment Offering
Auris Solutions plans to be a privately-held, Limited Liability Corporation, with Dr. Plauger as one of the owners and the key driver of research and new product development. However, we believe that in order to attract talented management, we will need to create a stock option pool not higher than 45% of the total shares. See the table below for an ownership breakdown.
|Stock Option Pool|
Auris proposes participating shares for our external investors in exchange for $250,000 funding. The Company is willing to offer up to 35% of equity stake in the company for the requested funding. In addition to funding, we are looking for investors with business, management and industry experience.
Auris understands that the investor's goal is to liquefy the investment at a substantial profit when the company's value has been maximized through astute management and careful supervision. Auris Solutions' exit strategy is a sale of the Company within five to seven years, where the investor's preferred participating stock would be entitled to a double dip provision. We believe that Auris Solutions could be sold for 7 to 10 times EBIT in year 5, based on comparable deals in the hearing care industry.
8.3 Funding History
To date, Auris Solutions has depended primarily on grants to finance research and operations. Auris Solutions' CRISP has been awarded competitive grants from various federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), totaling $550,000. These grants are typically awarded to companies or scientists with technology that has high potential for development and commercialization. Dr. Plauger has also applied for additional grants, in particular, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. The table below outlines the grants that she has received or that are currently pending:
National Organization For Hearing Research
Deafness Research Foundation
National Institute of Health (NIH)
1999 – 2001
National Institute of Health (NIH)
2001 – 2003
UIR – WARF
2002 – 2003
National Institute of Health (NIH)
2004 – 2005
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
8.4 Important Assumptions
- The CRISP hearing tests have been priced between $2,000 and $2,500, based on a market reference value plus a differentiation value. We used a price of $2,500 in our projected income statement.
- Cost of sales includes the cost of copying, packaging and printing the software and instruction manual. Cost of sales also includes per copy royalty paid to WARF, which is estimated at 10% of the retail price of the software.
- The financial projections include $100,000 of external seed funding.
- In addition to salary, the key employees of Auris Solutions, LLC will be granted stock options from the stock option pool; Dr. Plauger (also equity stakeholder) and Dr. Yu are acting as the company's scientific officer and software developer accordingly.
- Auris Solutions plans to launch Minimum Audible Angle (MAA) and Elder's Realistic Intelligibility and Seech Perception (ERISP) in year 2005, and software for Children with Developmental Disabilities (DD) & Mental Retardation (MR) in 2006.
- Operating expenses includes Research and Development costs of $2 million over five years. Patent amortization is straight line over 17 years.
- Income tax is assumed at 30%.
8.5 Break-even Analysis
Please note that we have calculated the cost of the proprietary software and the packaging at $418.82, with an average sale price of $2,094.12. We are not using a mark-up approach for the software pricing because the costs of developing the software are considerably low. We based our sale price of the software on comparable software available on the market (reference value) as well as testimony of various audiologists during our market research process (differentiation value).
Based on the above assumptions, the company would have to sell units as detailed in the breakeven analysis table.
8.6 Projected Profit and Loss
We plan to properly use our funding. Auris Solutions' products are now being developed by Dr. Plauger at the Waisman Center of UW-Madison. For that reason our Research and Development expenses for 2005 are $0, which assists in minimizing costs associated with creating our future products, consequently maintaining competitive profit ratios. As shown in the Profit and Loss Statement, below, the founders will postpone their compensations, which will help in creating positive profits for the 1st year. We plan to use our consultants' services as required.
8.7 Projected Cash Flow
Detailed projected income statements, balance sheets and cash flows for years 2004 through 2008 are included in Appendix 2. We believe that by year-end 2004 we should be able to sell 45 copies of the software, which is a very conservative estimate, as the company has already encountered a substantial amount of interest in CRISP at the various conferences and tradeshows attended by Dr. Plauger. This number is also conservative based on the number of speech therapists and audiologists, HMO Medical Centers and hospitals there are in the United States, according to the latest year 2000 census.
We believe that the majority of revenue will come from software sales. Software sales are projected to grow from 425 units for the partial-year 2004 to over 11,000 units within five years. This figure includes the introduction of ERISP and the MAA tests in year two, and the DD and MR test in year three.
An additional $4.5M (max) will be spent on Research and Development activities over the next 5 years to develop future products. Auris Solutions' R&D effort is focused on two main areas: extension and expansion of the current proprietary technology, and research and development of new product lines. Sales and marketing expenses are expected to increase over 10% every year. This includes advertising and promotional spending to support growing product sales, as well as website maintenance; we believe that marketing will play an important role in our sales. Sales and marketing expenses exclude the travel costs for Dr. Plauger to promote her technology at various conferences.
*Note: The 'Dividends' row currently shows $0 for all years; actual dividend amounts will be negotiated with the investors.
8.8 Projected Balance Sheet
As shown in the balance sheet in the following table, we expect a healthy growth in net worth by the end of the plan period. The monthly projections are in the appendices.
8.9 Business Ratios
Standard business are included in the following table. These ratios correspond to the selected industry category (Application computer software, SIC code 7372.9901), which was selected to match our business. Any discrepancy with the industry standard might be explained by our low capital needs and liabilities as well as by our low initial investment to develop our products; products are being develop by consultants at UW-Madison. However, the ratios show a plan for balanced, healthy growth. Special attention will be paid to our collection days in order to minimize the amount of days we are awaiting payment.