Speechmatics raises £6.35 million to fund global expansion
Speechmatics, the leader in machine learning and automatic speech recognition, has raised £6.35m in Series A funding led by AlbionVC; IQ Capital followed on in this round along with several angel investors.
Speechmatics has built one of the most accurate speech recognition technology engines in the world. The technology is currently available in 30 languages, either in the cloud or, crucially, on-premises – a critical feature for businesses who do not wish or are unable to share data in the cloud. The diversity of languages and accuracy of the technology sets Speechmatics apart from other global brands in speech recognition. Speechmatics was recently awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the ‘Innovation’ category for 2019.
The automatic speech recognition (ASR) market is currently worth $7.5bn and is projected to be worth $21.5bn by 2024. Applications of Speechmatics technology include almost instant transcription of audio files, live subtitling in broadcast, and the conversion of call centre recordings into text. Automatic speech recognition technology is now at a tipping point of being a fundamental element of human-machine interaction and is a vital component for businesses integrating machine learning and AI into their strategies across many sectors.
The funding will be used to support Speechmatics’ global growth ambitions. It follows the appointment of John Milliken as CEO in January 2019 to take the business to its next level of global expansion. The £6.35 million funding will be used to enable product development and geographical expansion, with new offices opened in Brno in Czech Republic last year, Chennai in India in January 2020, and upcoming in Denver, CO. The team has grown from 50 to 100 people within the last year.
John Milliken, Chief Executive Officer of Speechmatics, says: “We’ve invested heavily into our product and machine learning capabilities to provide our customers with what we believe is the best speech recognition technology on the market.
We recognise that businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of unlocking their voice data and utilising it for core business functions such as compliance, analytics, training and improving customer experience. This latest investment opens up not only global expansion but the opportunity for new product development and traction in new markets.”
Robert Whitby-Smith, Partner at AlbionVC says: “Speech software is a large and rapidly growing market and we believe Speechmatics’ small footprint language models, capable of flexible deployment in the cloud, on-premises or on-device will become of strategic importance in the evolving landscape. We believe Speechmatics, led by John, is poised to become a significant global software company.”
Ed Stacey, Managing Partner at IQ Capital, says: “We have supported Speechmatics since IQ Capital first invested in 2016. All companies in our portfolio have the potential for global scale, and we believe Speechmatics, with over 75 languages in development, is set to become a global market leader in speech recognition and in allowing machines to understand natural languages.”
The Albion technology team invests from seed through to Series B in high growth companies, predominantly in the UK, with a particular focus on B2B software and technology enabled services. Albion has 20+ years’ experience investing in technology, has c.£450m of venture funds, with over 40 tech investments within its portfolios. AlbionVC is the technology investment arm of Albion Capital Group LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Speechmatics: Innovate with Voice
Speechmatics leads the market as an any-context speech-recognition engine for companies to rapidly build innovative applications.
The UK Government, DeloitteUK, Vonage, what3words and Adobe use Speechmatics in scenarios such as call centers, CRM, consumer electronics, security, media & entertainment and software. Speechmatics processes millions of hours of transcription worldwide every month.
Analysts have recognised Speechmatics as a pioneer in machine-learning voice engineering as it enables companies to build applications that detect and transcribe voice in any context over real-time. Its neural network considers acoustics, language, dialect, multiple speakers, punctuation, capitalisation, context and implicit meanings. In 2019 Speechmatics received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Innovation.
Its offices are based in Cambridge, UK, Denver, USA, Chennai, India and Brno, Czech Republic. Speechmatics is a registered trademark.
About IQ Capital
IQ Capital is a venture capital firm, based between Cambridge and London, that invests in ‘deep-tech’ across sectors including machine learning, AI, robotics, and advanced engineering and materials, and data-focused propositions based on disruptive algorithms. All of the firm’s portfolio companies are capable of dominating their respective markets on a global scale. Initial investments range from £300k to £5m, with capacity for follow-on investment up to £30m.
The IQ Capital team has achieved over 20 exits to date, to companies including Oracle, Google, Apple, Huawei, and Facebook, and several IPOs. IQ Capital has led 28 investments over the last three years. The firm is currently investing at seed and Series A stage from its third venture fund.
For more information, please visit: www.iqcapital.vc