VoiceLabs Shuts Down as Alpine AI Rises from the Ashes
VoiceLabs announced today that it will cease operations, gracefully transition its users to other analytics providers and re-emerge as a new company. Alpine AI will help branded product companies and retailers improve their effectiveness at the front end of the voice commerce buying cycle where consumer awareness, consideration and intent are formed. Alpine AI CEO Adam Marchick says his new company will focus on the “voice-enabled path to purchase.”
VoiceLabs is well known among Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant developers as one of the leading voice app analytics platforms. Many developers considered VoiceLabs to be the leader in voice app analytics with over 4,000 users on the platform. However, company founders believed the opportunity in voice commerce was much larger, would deliver more direct impact and that they needed to focus on it entirely to be successful. Thus VoiceLabs is going away and Alpine is the new focus. Voicebot connected with Marchick to discuss the path to Alpine and what it means.
Why are you shutting down the VoiceLabs analytics business?
Adam Marchick: We are really excited about Alpine. Alex Linares [VoiceLabs/Alpine AI CTO] and I have been immersed in the voice ecosystems the past two years. We see Alpine as a way to be more helpful and impactful for companies. And, it’s easier to do one thing well than two things.
How are you serving your existing customers VoiceLabs users with the transition?
Marchick: We have put together an extensive game plan to ensure a smooth transition. We have over 4,000 people on the platform. I had conversations with about 100 of them. Some of them said they would bring analytics in house. Some asked who else would be helpful. Chatbase and Dashbot have stepped up and offered to provide import tools and tutorials for VoiceLabs customers.
How did your customers react?
Marchick: They’ve been really supportive. We made this decision thoughtfully and planned transition thoughtfully. We are making this decision today, but we are running the service through March 29th.
What will Alpine be about?
Marchick: We have been engaged with a number of the top developers and first mover brands on the platform. Around Q4 of last year, we started to see some data movement around consumers asking voice-enabled devices about products. For example, what to buy and information about a product. We thought we could help create a solution to help with the purchase decision journey.
We call this the voice-enabled path to purchase. We are engaging with brands and retailers to help them take advantage of this emerging voice channel. The solution is called Alpine. The company is called Alpine.ai.
To do this requires pretty sophisticated technology that we’ve been in the labs building. We are engaging with initial customers right now, are excited that the product works and that it is pretty delightful. This appeals to retailers that derive revenue from eCommerce because they are seeing more and more of their searches come through voice. Voice search growth is real. There was a bold graph from comScore about voice search becoming a large share of overall search. The eCommerce companies that are watching search carefully are seeing voice search happening.
When did you start developing Alpine?
Marchick: Seven months ago. What is interesting is that all of our analytics IP is part of the Alpine platform. The data-driven understanding is at the core of the Alpine platform. Every line of code is going to be used.
How is Alpine different from Voice Labs?
This is more core to my background. Kahuna had deep machine learning and analytics underneath but it was a platform for marketing. Alpine is going to be for the marketing and product teams to be leaders in voice. Our product will directly help generate revenue for companies which is more impactful than the solid analytics product that we built.
What is the point of analytics? It is business action. Alpine is about tangible business benefit. Alex and our team of machine learning experts are building awesome stuff around direct impact. Should I buy an LG or Sony TV? I need information [as a consumer]. I may not be ready to make a purchase, but it is part of the path to purchase. Consideration and intent phases are both very interesting to us. Brands and retailers must be represented [on voice platforms] or be vulnerable and the time is now. To be clear, it’s still early in the voice commerce market. That said, I bet Amazon has some pretty compelling numbers about voice commerce growth.