Speech-to-Code Startup Serenade Raises $2.1M and Launches Commercial Platform
Voice tech startup Serenade, whose platform allows users to code computer programs by voice, has raised $2.1 million in a seed funding round led by Amplify Partners and Neo. The company also unveiled the first commercial version of Serenade, which has a free version for people to test out and is posted on GitHub.
Serenade provides a speech-to-text engine that differs from any standard version by focusing on turning spoken words into a programming language. The software connects to coding editors like Visual Studio Code. It translates what the user says into code written out in the editor with the correct syntax and style necessary to work. Serenade was founded as a way to help coders who can no longer type due to injury. It’s a facet of the rapidly expanding number of ways companies apply voice AI to accessibility issues. Coding without typing fits well with using audio technology to turn on lights and appliances from a wheelchair or identify products without seeing them.
“We started Serenade after experiencing first-hand how wrist and neck injuries can completely derail a career in software development,” Serenade co-founder Tommy MacWilliam explained in a blog post. It’s frustrating, and oftentimes scary, to suddenly be limited or unable to work due to physical pain. Instead, Serenade aims to provide a new, more accessible way of writing code that doesn’t depend on these traditional input mechanisms without sacrificing efficiency.”
On-Edge Audio Coding
Exploring those possibilities is what the startup designed Serenade Pro to do. The new product brings the best version of the software to a user’s computer and runs entirely on the device. The on-edge audio processor avoids the need to send data to the cloud, like the free option requires, ensuring better privacy and security for coders. Otherwise, the features are the same for now. Serenade is planning upgrades for the platform, however, and is planning to use the new funding to designed and build more features for Serenade while automating more of the platform to improve its efficiency. The startup is also thinking of other reasons people might want to use the platform beyond accessibility.
“Ultimately, we don’t think Serenade can be just as fast as typing—we think it can be faster,” MacWilliam wrote. “Not only can you speak much more quickly than you can type, but using natural language also means that you don’t need to memorize hundreds of hotkeys or syntax nuances in order to be productive.”