Verbit Acquires Education-Centered Transcription Firm Automatic Sync Technologies
Verbit has acquired fellow transcription technology developer Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) for an unrevealed sum. AST will augment Verbit with its education and government clients as well as its technological innovations. This is Verbit’s first acquisition since closing a $250 million funding round valuing the company at more than $2 billion.
AST provides captioning and transcription services for a wide range of educational institutions and governmental services. The company claims it has signed more than 5,000 customers and produced more than 5 million caption files since launching about 18 years ago. AST’s education and government focus grew out of its origins as a private project funded by a US Department of Education grant early in its existence.
Both AST and Verbit rely on a combination of humans and AI to transcribe what people say. Verbit customizes its AI speech model to match industry and client needs. A human checks and edits that document afterward, enabling Verbit to claim 99.9% accuracy. Education is one of several industries Verbit works in, along with media and legal companies. AST’s customers will bump up the educational side of Verbit’s business while bringing new video accessibility and other features to its existing clientele
“Together with Automatic Sync Technologies, Verbit can create greater impact by bringing its high-quality transcription to more students, professionals and consumers,” Verbit CEO Tom Livne said. “I’m thrilled to have such a strongly recognized team and product join us on this journey.”
Verbit’s $250 million funding in November likely helped smooth the acquisition, but Verbit has been hoovering up investment for a couple of years. The new funding arrived only six months after Verbit raised $157 million and $1 billion unicorn valuation and only a year after the nabbed raised $60 million. Verbit’s total funding has passed $550 million, with a reported $100 million in annual revenue. Verbit’s strategy has the money going toward developing technology and scaling the business with new hires and acquisitions. AST is Verbit’s second acquisition this year. Verbit purchased captioning tech provider VITAC in May.
“We are excited to join the Verbit family. Their vision for the present and future of video accessibility and the planned investment in us will empower us to bring the vision of why we started this company 18 years ago to life,” AST CEO Kevin Erler said. “Now we can invest more aggressively in our product and make our roadmap and vision into realities.”