Subaru Invests $3M in Audio Startup DSP Concepts
Audio tech platform developer DSP Concepts has picked up a $3 million investment from the Subaru-SBI Innovation Fund. The Californian startup, best known for the Audio Weaver embedded audio software platform. has now raised a total of $28.4 million, including a $14.5 million round led by Taiwania Capital from February.
Subaru Listening for Voice
Audio Weaver acts as the base layer for companies to design an audio processing system. The platform enables developers to merge multiple software modules and generate a customized service for whatever purpose they choose, and with minimal coding needed. The platform is used by Daimler and Tesla to run audio and voice control systems, and by Porsche to simulate the sound of an engine revving in its Taycan electric car. Subaru-SBI isn’t the first investor arm of a carmaker to work with DSP Concepts. Both BMW i Ventures and Porsche Ventures are counted among previous investors. This is the Innovation Fund’s first investment in an audio tech startup, whose previous choices include what3words.
“[T]oday’s most inventive carmakers understand audio is not just about music and entertainment, DSP Concepts CEO Chin Beckmann explained. “Instead, they’re focused on crafting signature engine sounds and creating auditory experiences that are truly unique, heralding that a car worth noting has rolled up to your driveway before it even reaches your line of sight. Even better, Audio Weaver enables automakers to virtually tune the audio experience for new vehicles, significantly accelerating their time to market without tying up a development mule for weeks on end.”
DSP Concepts works in several consumer industries beyond automotive with a wide range of companies. More than 50 million devices rely on Audio Weaver, using some of the hundreds of modules available to adjust the audio experience. For instance, Samsung used Audio Weaver to help create the first voice-enabled Dolby Atmos multi-channel soundbar on a single System-on-a-Chip. The company scored a significant win in June when Amazon qualified TalkTo, DSP’s noise filtering software, for Alexa built-in devices. The qualification makes it easier for third-party makers of Alexa-enabled devices to include TalkTo in their software. The same technology is used in Sensory’s recent VoiceHub wake word creation engine to isolate human voices from other noise and by GoPro to eliminate the sound of wind from the audio recorded by drone flyers. The new investment also reflects a growing interest in voice technology, fueled partly by the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis and resulting boost in contactless technology.
“2020 has been a year unlike any other, and the pandemic has only accelerated the demand for voice-enabled technology,” Beckmann wrote. “We’re thrilled to have Subaru along for the ride as we work together to power the audio and voice experiences of the future in automotive and beyond. ”