Unorthodox Ventures Leads Series A of Earwax Removal Startup SafKan Health, Bringing Funding to $13 Million

Headphone-like OtoSet Ear Cleaning System is quick, safe, and effective

Austin, Tex —Unorthodox Ventures, the investment firm led by contrarian entrepreneur and Big Ass Fans Founder Carey Smith, today announced a lead investment in medical device startup SafKan Health, which has developed the FDA-cleared OtoSet® Ear Cleaning System. The $8 million Series A will help the Seattle-based company as it debuts OtoSet, with total funding to date of $13 million.

Otoset Ear Cleaning System

Otoset Ear Cleaning System.

Now available, the device is the first automated ear cleaning system for the 35 million Americans affected by earwax buildup, including two-thirds of all nursing home residents.

For 200 years, the medical standard of care has been the ear-and-bladder syringe, a medieval-looking device that squirts water into ear canals, a messy procedure that requires clinicians to place buckets on a patient’s shoulder. OtoSet brings ear care into the 21st century and simplifies earwax removal, reducing the procedure time required from 20 minutes to less than five.

OtoSet uses a novel system of irrigation and micro-suction technology, all built into an automated and wearable device resembling a familiar and sleek pair of headphones. The device offers patients a safe, effective, and mess-free procedure.

How OtoSet Works

In a quick cleaning cycle, liquid flow is directed from solution containers through disposable ear tips and toward the walls of the ear canals to break down earwax. Continuous micro-suction draws the earwax and liquid back through the ear tips and into disposable waste containers for a simple, clean procedure.

  • Better hearing care: Earwax is one of the most common reasons for hearing aid damage and frustration. Earwax tends to become harder and less mobile as you get older, creating hearing loss and preventing full exams of the ear. In 2016 alone, Medicare paid more than $51 million for earwax removal services. The procedure is essential, as studies of more than 20,000 patients found seniors with hearing loss were 2.4 times likelier to suffer from dementia.
  • Clinically proven: OtoSet is the first FDA-cleared ear cleaning device to remove mild to severe earwax impactions quickly and safely.
  • Automated: OtoSet combines and controls the two most popular methods of earwax removal — irrigation and micro-suction.
  • Greater access: Reduce referrals to otolaryngologists and increase the ability to treat more patients at the initial point of care.

“I’ve dedicated my career to transforming old technology for the modern era, from ceiling fans to hand sanitizer systems,” Unorthodox Ventures Founding Contrarian Carey Smith said. “SafKan Health is doing the same with OtoSet.”

SafKan Health Co-Founder and CEO Sahil Diwan added, “What impressed us first about Unorthodox Ventures is their knowledge of all things manufacturing, a major help for us as we grow our business. Beyond that, their willingness to assist us in all aspects of our business is what makes Unorthodox Ventures such a unique and welcome partner.”

About Unorthodox Ventures

Austin-based Unorthodox Ventures seeks out entrepreneurs with big potential and provides far more than money. Led by Big Ass Fans Founder Carey Smith, Unorthodox Ventures is a reinvention of the broken investment process, starting with its team of experts who help entrepreneurs by providing support for everything from engineering and marketing to customer service and logistics. Learn more at

About SafKan Health

SafKan Health is a Seattle-based venture backed medical device startup addressing impacted earwax, which affects 35 million Americans and is the leading cause of conductive hearing loss. The company’s first product, OtoSet®, is the first automated and FDA-cleared ear cleaning device. In 2021, OtoSet was recognized as a winner of the Hearing Technology Innovator Award. Learn how clinicians are reducing referrals and treating more patients at