Speech Recognition Startup Speechmatics Raises $62M
Speech recognition technology developer Speechmatics has raised $62 million in a Series B funding round led by Susquehanna Growth Equity. The enterprise AI platform offers a speech-to-text platform pitched as capable of understanding the most casual of conversations regardless of accent or precision.
Speechmatics provides enterprise speech recognition services for businesses that don’t want to require people to alter their speech for accurate transcription. The AI is designed for flexibility so it can understand and transcribe informal conversations during meetings and conferences. The British startup claims it has successfully transcribed millions of hours of conversation in three dozen or so languages and an uncountable array of accents for major brands and government agencies like Vonage, Veritone, and Deloitte UK. Speechmatics has also built up a collection of partnerships with related developers who need a transcription engine such as speech analytics software maker Daisee, contact call center platform Puzzel, and navigation software platform what3words through a joint API. The platform saw a leap in its performance last year when it gained the ability to train its AI using unlabelled audio recordings from hundreds of thousands of speakers across millions of hours, skipping the need for human management of its improvement.
“Our progress in the last few years left us inundated with interest from investors for our Series B fundraise,” Speechmatics CEO Katy Wigdahl said. “The patient capital will enable us to double down on our vision to close the gap between humanity and machines, which is incredibly exciting. The Speechmatics team is hugely ambitious. We have a real heritage in speech technology combined with some of the world’s most talented speech and machine learning experts. We cannot wait to accelerate our growth and unlock the understanding of more and more voices.”
Speechmatics joins the parade of startups raking in investment capital for meeting transcription and speech recognition. The amount raised can range widely, from Fireflies.ai’s $14 million and Symbl’s $17 million, up to Observe.AI’s $54 million, Otter’s $50 million and Kore.ai’s $70 million. Though the spike in interest was undoubtedly partly spurred by the pandemic, it’s unlikely to slow down now that businesses have adopted the tech and seen its value.