Project Voice Capital Partners Picks Novel Effect and susuROBO for First Investments
Project Voice Capital Partners (PVCP) has chosen the first two startups to receive an investment from its venture capital fund. PVCP picked conversational AI-powered storytelling enhancer Novel Effect and content creator toolkit susuROBO are each getting an initial $250,000 to $500,000 from the VC group, which launched this year with a rolling fund.
Seattle-based Novel Effect created a mobile app that uses speech recognition technology to bring music, sound effects, voices, and other audio flourishes to a story, following along with the reader to play the sounds at the appropriate moment. They’ve since widened their work to licensing new books from brands like the Henson Company and working on interactive television programs and other multimedia projects. susuROBO is a Japanese startup that uses AI to help create digital AI avatars used by content creators for streaming and vlogging and has begun experimenting with synthetic media produced with generative AI.
“Both companies are doing impressive work. The money we invest has a signaling effect [to potential future investors] that they’re on the rise,” PVCP co-founder Bradley Metrock told Voicebot in an interview. “Novel Effect is a great business, and it’s growing quickly both with the consumer core product and with their enterprise licensing deals. susuROBO has a new tool they’re developing to enable content creators and live streamers to use AI avatars to create passive income streams by having the avatars broadcast for them. It’s completely generative in nature.”
PVCP is the brainchild of Metrock, best-known for running Project Voice, and VoicePunch VC general partner Marc Ladin. They created PVCP to find and support early-stage startups working in all sorts of language technology, including synthetic media and generative AI. PVCP also counts Adam Cheyer, the co-founder of the companies that became Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s Bixby voice assistants as a founding venture partner, and Neil Jacobstein, Singularity University Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track Chair, as a technical advisor.
The group requires a four-quarter, $12,500 a quarter minimum investment, but the rolling fund model lets subscribers join at any quarter and participate in all of PVCP’s deals. Metrock said the fund is currently in the $5 million to $10 million dollar range and that they plan on investing in about three companies every quarter.