Speech-to-Text for Veterinarians Startup Talkatoo Closes Oversubscribed Funding Round
Dictation for veterinarians startup Talkatoo has closed an oversubscribed funding round for an undisclosed sum led by Klick Ventures. The company provides dictation software for animal health professionals of all stripes, offering a new facet of the larger trend for using voice AI in healthcare.
Talkatoo offers dictation and verbal note-taking to veterinary professionals. The process halves the time spent on paperwork, according to the company. The subscription model provided by Talkatoo is designed to mix with most standard platforms used by those in animal care, so they don’t have to spend much time or extra money setting up and learning how to use the tech. Talkatoo has previously raised about $822,000 in pre-seed funding. The company was part of the Google for Startups Accelerator: Voice AI program earlier this year as well, which is where it got matched up with Klick. The new money is slated to grow the company as a business and convince more people in animal care to switch to dictation software. The startup scored a major coup this year when Patterson Veterinary announced that it would integrate Talkatoo into the software used by thousands of U.S. veterinary practices.
“Talkatoo is quickly becoming known among veterinary professionals as the dictation tool of choice as it lets them allocate more time to patient care,” Talkatoo CEO Shawn Wilkie said in a statement. “Not only does our software instantly transcribe notes on all applications, but it leverages both artificial intelligence and our proprietary, built-in medical dictionary to help ensure that complicated medical terms are identified and accurately transcribed in clinical reports, records, and other important communications.”
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated interest in AI-powered information services in many industries, but it is particularly notable in healthcare, which is often slower to incorporate new communications tech. In both voice and chat form, demand for virtual assistants has been pushing huge investments and acquisitions for over a year for startups Orbita, Hyro, and Avaamo, not to mention helping make Nuance worth almost $20 billion to Microsoft. The vaccine rollout only added to the demand for AI to help doctors keep people informed and schedule their shots, which led to the creation of Nuance’s COVID-19 vaccine bots. Investment in startups in the field like Suki or Saykara has risen simultaneously, leading Nuance to acquire Saykara ahead of its own acquisition. These trends helped make Talkatoo a good fit for the Google accelerator and explain why Klick made the rare transition from mentor to investor, according to the tech giant.
“We were thrilled to welcome Talkatoo into our inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: Voice AI program,” Google’s head of U.S. startup developer ecosystem Jason Scott said “Talkatoo’s ability to provide veterinary professionals with a simple, elegant, and empowering voice-enabled solution that’s consistent and reliable across devices will have an incredible impact on the industry. At Google, we’re proud to be part of their journey.”