Enterprise Generative AI Voice App Startup Voiceflow Raises $15M
Voiceflow, known for its conversational AI design and development hub, has raised $15 million in a new funding round led by OpenView. The company plans to leverage the funding to advance its growing generative AI-powered features and customer service agents.
Voiceflow is set up to help developers design and deploy voice apps for any natural language understanding platform, streamlining the design of complex conversations. The company has quickly taken to the rapidly expanding world of generative AI this year. The startup debuted a new Generate Step feature in January, enabling developers to link their app to OpenAI’s GPT-3 large language model to produce content and to use as a dynamic conversational tool.
Voiceflow has also worked on ways to employ generative AI to handle more of the repetitive bits of design, such as re-prompts and utterances. That led to the creation of its ‘prompt chaining’ system, which allows developers to use Voiceflow to connect multiple prompts to generative AI engines to speed up the design and release of even very elaborate and sophisticated conversational AI assistants.
“When we launched Voiceflow, our mission was democratizing AI agent creation for Alexa and Google Assistant. Four years later, our mission has evolved to being the collaborative platform for enterprises to build agents for any channel,” Voiceflow CEO Braden Ream said. “We’re proud to serve over 130,000 global users and leading brands. OpenView’s expertise will be invaluable as we pursue product innovation and meet customer demand.”
Enterprise Voice Volume
The new $15 million cash infusion ups Voiceflow’s valuation by 50% since its $20 million round in 2021, which included about $4 million of venture debt that was never drawn upon. The new round brings total venture funding to date to $35 million. The latest investment is earmarked for a new generative AI Builder that employs LLMs for customer service and other tasks. OpenView’s involvement suggests investors expect rapid scaling at Voiceflow, as the VC group has built a reputation for specifically boosting that growth among the startups it supports.
“In an incredibly short period, Voiceflow has not only introduced an innovative solution, it has seeded massive demand from name brand businesses looking to design, prototype, and build conversational AI agents,” OpenView partner Blake Bartlett said. “OpenView has deep experience helping companies that are ready for rapid expansion and we are looking forward to helping Voiceflow maintain its impressive momentum as well as its position as the leading agent-building platform.”
Voiceflow faces plenty of market challengers at the intersection of voice AI and LLMs. SoundHound recently unveiled a generative AI voice answering service for businesses, while Slang.ai raised $20 million in June for its AI phone concierge for restaurants and other retailers. On the more complex voice assistant development front, NLX brought generative AI to its conversational designer for virtual assistants enabling designers to simply describe the purpose of a voice and text-based AI agent before deploying it on the Conversations by NLX platform. And contact center AI platform Observe.AI has its own 30-billion-parameter LLM and related generative AI tools.
With that said, Voiceflow’s rapid rise in users, which more than doubled to 130 million in the past year, its increasing platform engagement by designers and developers, the popularity of generative AI features, and the new funding suggest the company has more growth ahead.