Dialpad Raises $170M for AI-Powered Cloud Communications
Enterprise communications platform Dialpad has raised $170 million in a new funding round led by Iconiq Capital. The investment doubles Dialpad’s valuation to $2.2 billion from when the company picked up $100 million in funding about a year ago.
Dialpad pitches itself as a centralized AI-powered communications platform for businesses. The conferencing service, rebranded from UberConferences, now encompasses text, audio, and video communications options supported by Dialpad’s ‘Voice Intelligence’ known as Vi. The AI, born out of Dialpad’s 2018 acquisition of TalkIQ, handles voice transcription and analytics for meetings and contact center interactions with customers. Vi takes notes and leverages natural language processing to measure sentiment and identify and highlight any action items. Users can ask Vi to hunt through its call archives and share any patterns or insights it spots, and the AI will give real-time advice while a user talks to a customer. The new funding round is earmarked for hiring more people to create and improve its AI services. The $170 million and boosts Dialpad’s total capital raised to $418 million since Google Voice originator Craig Walker founded the company in 2011.
“Dialpad is the world’s most advanced AI-powered communications, collaboration, and contact center platform, providing a customer- and cloud-first solution that enables more efficient and effective conversations,” Walker said in a statement. “This latest round of funding, and increased valuation, showcases Dialpad’s continued momentum and strengthens our dedication to helping companies scale and enterprises thrive in today’s hybrid, work-from-anywhere world.”
Dialpad’s voice AI portfolio has grown significantly in the last couple of late. Just this year, Dialpad bought Kare Knowledgeware and Koopid, two conversational AI and digital self-service startups that bring new tools to its platform. The company also extended into the mobile space by purchasing Highfive and its mobile video conference platform. The enormous spike in digital meetings resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has only sped up the process, and it’s not restricted to Dialpad.
Voice AI for business meetings is ubiquitous and startups are scooping up lots of investor dollars to keep up with demand. For instance, Otter.ai went from real-time transcriptions to a suite of secretarial features for most meeting platforms after raising $50 million in February. Funding rounds range from Fireflies.ai’s $14 million and Symbl’s $17 million, up to Observe.AI’s $54 million and Kore.ai’s $70 million, but it’s become a non-stop parade. Dialpad will want to use its funds for an edge as voice AI in meetings becomes universal.
“Customer adoption of Dialpad’s AI-powered TrueCaaS platform is at an all time high and is accelerating,” Dialpad CFO Mike Kourey said. “This $170 million financing round further fuels our unparalleled innovation engine and global expansion, advancing Dialpad’s comprehensive vision for the future of work, business communications and collaboration, and customer experience.”