Enterprise Communications Startup Dialpad Raises $100M to Build Voice AI Business Services
Business communications platform developer Dialpad has raised $100 million in a Series E funding round led by OMERS Growth Equity. The startup, best known for its UberConference messaging platform, provides cloud-based communications services as well as a growing number of AI-based features, including voice transcription and analytics for meetings and contact center interactions with customers. According to the company, the new capital puts the company’s valuation at $1.2 billion, with $425 million in funding total.
Though initially designed around its conferencing technology, Dialpad started building up its AI portfolio a couple of years ago after acquiring conference call transcription service TalkIQ. Dialpad’s new automatic notetaking feature, using natural language processing to flag action items and analyze sentiment, is now the foundation for Dialpad’s “Voice Intelligence” offerings. Dialpad now provides a range of analyses from phone calls, including live coaching for calls with customers and suggestions for improving productivity. For customers, Diapad can analyze their requests to connect their calls to the right person while providing real-time transcriptions of their messages. That includes using mobile devices, for which Dialpad recently acquired mobile video conference platform Highfive.
“We have seen a huge increase in demand for cloud communications tools, and we are raising additional capital to meet this demand,” said Dialpad CEO Craig Walker said in a statement, “Users want a single platform to handle voice, video and messaging. They also want that platform to be smart; to do things like automate note-taking and provide real-time insights and answers in response to what’s happening on a call or meeting. We have invested in real-time speech recognition, natural language processing and voice analytics on a system that works anywhere, on any device.”
Dialpad’s funding round’s sheer size stands out as notable, but it’s not alone in drawing attention for applying voice AI technology to enterprise services. That’s why part of the new money will go toward expanding the range of AI-based features Dialpad can provide. Demand has spiked, particularly since the COVID-19 health crisis began. The subsequent explosion in people working from home means more people using conferencing services and an uptick in contact center calls. That’s why virtual agent platforms like Inference Solutions and Satisfi Labs are started adding pandemic-specific answers to their AI. And while remote working has garnered new clients for mainstays like Gridspace, whose Sift platform transcribes and examines conversations with customers for useful information, plenty of other startups are picking up enough capital to really expand their presence. Observe.AI raised $54 million just last month, while CallMiner, closed a $75 million funding round from Goldman Sachs and Replicant raised $27 million for its own angle on the technology.