Speechmatics, a leading European provider of machine learning and automatic speech recognition software, has just raised €7.5 million in Series A funding led by Albion VC; IQ Capital followed on in this round along with several angel investors.
Founded in 2009, Speechmatics has built one of the most accurate speech recognition technology engines in the world. The technology is currently available in 29 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 $7.5 billion and is projected to be worth $21.5 billion 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 fresh capital will be used to support Speechmatics’ global growth ambitions. It follows the appointment of John Milliken as CEO in January this year to take the business to its next level of global expansion. The €7.4 million funding will be used to enable product development and geographical expansion, with new offices being opened shortly in Denver USA, Brno in Czech Republic, and Chennai in India. The team is expected to grow from 50 to 100 people by the end of the year.
John Milliken, CEO of Speechmatics, stated: “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 commented: “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.”