AETHER: THE AUDIOVISUAL PIONEER

Aether is a design-led wearables company pioneering a new listening experience through high-end eyewear embedded with advanced open-ear audio technology. Perfectly positioned at the intersection of fashion and wearable technology, the brand caters to customers entering the luxury market by offering a life-enhancing audio device that promotes both personal wellbeing and seamless connectivity.

The key advantage that distinguishes Aether from its competitors is the innovative and patented technology employed in its glasses. As a result, tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, as well as the world’s biggest eyewear manufacturer Luxottica, have joined Aether’s growing customer base to be inspired by and learn from its outstanding eyewear solution.

Aspiring to be at the forefront of an emerging industry of fashionable wearable tech, Aether channels its expertise in product design, brand development, and creative direction into creative individual expression. Looking towards the future, Aether has a clear vision: to become the world’s leading audio eyewear brand.

The opportunity to invest in Aether will be available soon.

A DIGITAL SEAMLESS FUTURE

Aether synchronizes sound and sight into a singular object of expression for a brand-new listening experience. The collection of sophisticated glasses and sunglasses offers a portal to the enhanced aural ambiance. Open-ear speakers seamlessly direct high-quality sound to the ears while liberating wearers from the inconvenience of clunky headphones. Employing industry-leading Bluetooth® 5.1 and Qualcomm aptX™ technology, Aether audio glasses deliver crisp, rich open-ear sound with superior audibility.

The fresh, modern design of each unique pair of Aether glasses hails from a collective of Italian and Korean designers with over 20 years of experience working for the fashion industry’s most prestigious leading brands, including Christian Dior, Linda Farrow, and Celine.

Merged with the aesthetics of Scandinavian minimalism, Aether’s eyewear design resonates with similar state-of-the-art technology companies that emphasize elegant design, intuitive functionality, and the enviable lifestyle feel of household names like Apple, Dyson, and Bang & Olufsen. Aether shares the same attributes and customer base with these companies, namely high-income-earning, design-conscious customers with discerning taste.

Audio eyewear is here to liberate and actively enhance the way we connect with the world around us through the delivery of a pioneering aural experience. As the wearable and ‘hearable’ tech market becomes saturated with fitness trackers, there is an opportunity to create value through innovative integrated experiences that merge health tracking with the benefits of personalized sound therapy.

Honing in on its superior integrated design and strong brand appeal to tastemakers, Aether is perfectly positioned in an emerging niche with the potential to move 50 million units in global sales within the next five years by 2027.

THE TEAM BEHIND AETHER

Aether was established in September 2019 by three specialists in product design, brand development, and creative direction. As an independent brand with an international team of designers, engineers, and creative minds, Aether evolved from concept to finished product through an extensive prototyping process, driven by an obsession for detail and a perfectionist streak.

This design dedication has seen Aether’s founders scoop numerous international awards including the Red Dot Design Award, German Design Award, World Luxury Award, Cannes Lions, Hong Kong Design Award, and Clio Award.

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Raymond Shi – Co-founder of an award-winning premium photo lab and production studio, Shi is focused on the sales and marketing aspects of the business while managing content strategy, communications, and distribution.

Hannes Unt – An award-winning creative director with 20+ years of international experience in high-end branding and design, you will find Hannes Unt leading Aether’s brand strategy, creative direction, product design, and experiential retail.

Andy Shi – An experienced founder with a keen sense of setting up systems, processes and solving problems, Andy Shi oversees product development, supply chain, logistics, and business operations.

Won Lee – The former CEO of Gentle Monster in the US. During his seven-year stint with the company, the business was scaled to over USD 200 million in annual revenue and secured USD 60 million in funding from LVMH. Now at Aether, Won Lee is involved in distribution and content partnerships with a focus on South Korea.

Dante Caretti – An eyewear veteran with over 40 years of experience consulting for the industry’s most successful luxury brands. Dante Caretti advises on R&D, brand partnerships, and distribution in Europe.

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MARKET OVERVIEW

Global Earphones And Headphones Market

The ever-growing music industry, especially the rap and hip-hop spheres, has had a positive impact on headphone and earphone use. Headphone manufacturers even collaborate with artists and celebrities themselves to launch special edition devices. In addition, the increasing adoption of smartphones has been pivotal for rising headphone sales. Advances in audio tech that merge the capability of audio and video streaming capabilities encourage users to invest in higher quality, more sophisticated earphones.

The global earphones and headphones market had sustained growth and was estimated at USD 24.4 billion in 2020. Researchers forecast the market to reach a revised size of USD 84.5 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 19.4% throughout 2020-2027 [1].

The recent influx of new brands and tech startups venturing into the audio sector is increasing overall competitiveness within the market. Innovation, cost, and convenience are all factors that will continue to play a crucial role in increasing demand in the years to come.

Key trends that will drive global market expansion include:
• Transition of smart wireless headphones into ‘hearables’;
• Standardization of value-added features;
• Adoption of new technologies for product enrichment;
• Aesthetic device design;
• Innovations in audio technology and headphones manufacturing.

Premium Headphones Market

Extensive global internet and smartphone usage is giving rise to strong, attractive opportunities for top brands operating in the global premium headphones market. These companies primarily focus on consumer comfort, easy-to-use headphones, and, most importantly, premium sound quality. These premium devices not only integrate high-tech functionalities, such as layered hearing, noise cancellation, gesture controls, and speech amplification, but they do so within an elegant design.

In 2020, the global premium headphones market was valued at USD 8.34 billion. The market size of premium headphones is projected to surpass USD 16.8 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 8.6% from 2021 to 2027 [2].

Researchers anticipate that premium headphone sales will be boosted by gym trainers and sports athletes, who increasingly use these devices. Likewise, the amalgamation of health sensors and biometric monitoring capabilities is anticipated to significantly enhance the development of the premium headphones market globally.

Global Eyewear Market

The growing demand for fast fashion among millennials encourages eyeglasses producers to create affordable and appealing eyewear. Eyewear designers establish new styles and patterns regularly to adapt swiftly to current trends and attract fashion enthusiasts. This provides additional income-generating options by recruiting new customers and maintaining ongoing business relationships with existing clients. In addition, eyewear companies are broadening their service offerings to improve the purchasing experience of their customers and to establish better business relationships.

The global eyewear market was estimated at USD 147.6 billion in the year 2020. The market size will reach USD 255.24 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 8.5% in the 2021-2027 period [3].

The eyewear market has witnessed a dramatic transition toward adopting eyeglasses as a covetable fashion accessory, led by consumers' growing attention to personal style in the age of social media. The global eyewear niche is supported by a variety of expansion factors, including an aging population, urbanization, an increase in average income, an increasing population requiring vision correction, and the use of eyeglasses as a fashion accessory.

Furthermore, due to a substantial shift in consumer behavior toward online platforms such as ecommerce websites, online purchasing of eyewear items, such as eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses, has gained popularity. Ecommerce and online advertising services are becoming increasingly popular worldwide as key players aggressively execute their online marketing and promotional activities, to not only provide customers with easy access with sought-after products, but also to help businesses decrease their operational expenses. This enables brands to maximize their eyeglasses sales, and is expected to continue to increase in future.

 

 

Premium Eyewear Market

Premium eyewear is considered to be products that are priced over USD 200 and include various salient features such as protection from dangerous radiation and unique frame designs constructed from high-quality precious materials. The eyewear is specially designed to highlight individuality, luxury, social status, quality, and to make a fashion statement. Luxury eyewear caters to the needs of a sophisticated global clientele.

The premium eyewear market was valued at USD 32,42 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach over USD 50 billion in 2027. The industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 3% during the following six years [4].

Rapid urbanization, rising disposable incomes, an increase in millennial buying power, and celebrity fashion influence are all factors driving eyewear market growth. High-end customers report that they prefer to purchase luxury eyewear products due to the versatility in varieties available and extensive supplies.

The key trends anticipated in the premium eyewear market are the manufacturing of eyewear using 3D and lightweight products, the collaboration between a designer or brand and celebrity influencers, and innovative product design. In addition, manufacturers are expected to continue to develop new eyewear using exquisite materials, such as carbon fiber, titanium, fine woods, diamonds, and precious metals.

Global Earphones and Headphones Market USD 24.4 Billion in 2020 USD 84.5 Billion by 2027 CAGR of 19.4% during 6 years
Premium Headphones Market USD 8.3 Billion in 2020 USD 16.8 Billion by 2027 CAGR of 8.6% during 6 years
Global Eyewear Market USD 147.6 Billion in 2020 USD 255.2 Billion by 2027 CAGR of 8.5% during 6 years
Premium Eyewear Market USD 32.4 Billion in 2020 USD 50 Billion by 2027 CAGR of 3% during 6 years

Table 1: Key market indicators

Servicing a Niche

Aether operates in an emerging consumer niche at the intersection of two fast-growing markets with a combined value of over USD 200 billion. The market for audio eyewear is expected to continue to grow to 40 million units per year in the next five years.

Unapologetically individual, while connected within a thriving community of like-minded users, the Aether tribe distinguishes the timeless from the trend-bound, seeking to curate and streamline their lives in pursuit of elevated experiences. The target market and audience for Aether tends to be the demographic of 20-45-year-olds who are highly educated, creative trendsetters, and high-income earners.

BENCHMARKS

Although the wearables market is currently dominated by Big Tech companies, growth is widely fuelled by the emergence of smaller companies catering to different niches [5]. As the audio wearables (hearables) market matures, with companies offering similar feature products at more accessible price points, a paradigm shift is anticipated for new luxury customers to pivot to audio eyewear, similar to Beats headphones and Apple AirPods.

Notable Players in Eyewear

 

 

Notable Players in Wearable Audio

 

ON THE HORIZON

Aether Gen 2

Since the first generation of products debuted, Aether engineers have made significant improvements to every aspect of the devices. The Gen 2 collection will be introduced with designs from an ex-LVMH designer, featuring bold new styles merged with timeless aesthetics. Innovations include extending playtime by 50% up to 4.5 hours and reducing the frame weight by 20%.

Aether Speed

Catering to cyclists, runners, and skiers who don’t compromise design over function, Aether’s upcoming active line will be launched in collaboration with a renowned brand catering to these verticals. The products will feature dynamic speakers with continuous playtime of up to 5 hours.

Aether App 

Introducing personalized soundscapes generated by AI using binaural beats with scientifically proven health benefits, the Aether app is a native content hub that delivers a new soundscape experience for maximum focus and relaxation through open-ear sound. Soundtracks are generated based on your heart rate and the weather to transport you into an optimal flow state. This is Aether's interpretation of meditation in motion.

Aether Flagships 

Direct retail is projected to become the highest-grossing channel for Aether in the long term. Aether’s vision is an experiential retail concept involving the cross-pollination of multimedia art and sound design via a high-end therapeutic shopping experience. The concept will be tested in pilot locations at resort destinations before scaling up to 35 locations globally by 2027.

FINANCIAL FORECAST

The capital Aether has currently raised will be used to build distribution channels and establish a strong brand positioning in the emerging market. Aether’s tech and diversity of its eyewear models will determine the brand’s remarkable revenue leap and put it on track to reaching the profitability stage between 2024 and 2025. Long-term profitability can be achieved through reducing manufacturing costs, strategically shifting to scale direct retail channels, and building organic growth through online channels.

Aether employs a sustainable hybrid distribution model where growth in the early phase is driven through third-party offline retailers. In this early phase, distribution is built around selective high-end retail partnerships spread across key global cultural hubs to establish product awareness through channel marketing. Moving forward, sales are expected to increase further through the introduction of new models and high-profile brand partnerships to access new consumer verticals.

As a specialty brand creating luxury audio eyewear, Aether’s appeal to the intersection of fashion and tech tastemakers vigorously positions the brand for scalable growth ahead of its existing and potential competitors.

Aether Financial Forecast | Source [6]

SUMMARY

Design-led audiovisual eyewear brand, Aether, is a visionary at the cutting edge of ‘hearable’ tech that promotes both personal wellbeing and seamless connectivity for sophisticated fashion and tech tastemakers.

Flawless creative direction is at the core of Aether’s ethos, led by award-winning founders Raymond Shi, Hannes Unt, Andy Shi, Won Lee, and Dante Caretti. With these design veterans at the helm, Aether’s clear vision and innovative product offerings position the brand as an emerging leader in the wearable tech industry, carving out its own luxury eyewear consumer niche targeting highly educated, high-income earning millennial trendsetters.

Aether already has a proven track record to back its vision. To date, the company has raised capital to build a strong hybrid distribution model through partnerships with high-end global retailers and establish its market position with a well-executed strategy to scale the company and generate long-term profitability. The global premium hearables and eyewear markets continue to rapidly expand, with a combined value of over USD 200 billion – with Aether set to make waves at their intersection.

Aether’s vision for the future is just beginning. On the horizon, the company is looking to launch further eyewear collections engineered to meet the future needs of consumers, as well as open their flagship retail concept. By 2027, Aether anticipates global sales of 50 million as the brand becomes a luxury essential.

 

Your opportunity to invest in Aether is almost here.

You can order Aether audio eyewear at: https://aether-eyewear.com/collections/audio-glasses

Source:

[1] Earphones and Headphones – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics (2021) LINK

[2] Industry Research – Global Premium Headphones Market Report (History And Forecast 2016-2027) LINK

[3] Grand View Research – Eyewear Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report (Forecast 2021 – 2028) LINK

[4] Factmr – Luxury Eyewear Market Research Report (2019-2027) LINK

[5] Smaller Companies Fuel Growth in Worldwide Wearables Market in 1Q21 LINK

[6] Aether Pitch Deck (to access register at moonshot.ch) LINK

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