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12 January, 2017 - 10:44 By Tony Quested

Tech investors back new funding round for Speechmatics

Cambridge speech technology company Speechmatics has received an undisclosed level of investment from multiple backers to accelerate the commercial roll-out of its products. 

Founded by chief technology officer Dr Tony Robinson, who pioneered PhD research into recurrent neural networks in the 1980s, Speechmatics has developed a unique machine learning technology to harness the full potential of speech technology.

A spokesman for the business said: “We are unable to disclose the amount raised but it will contribute significantly to support future plans which include deep neutral networks and the wide application of speech recognition technology.”

Based on current fundraisings in the space it is safe to assume that the amount raised will have comfortably topped the £1 million mark.

Robinson said: “This is an exciting time to be in speech recognition. We are at the forefront of how deep neural networks are changing speech recognition. With our ever expanding and highly experienced R & D team, we continue to push the boundaries in speech technology, especially around languages, accuracy and deployment.”

The firm received investment from several sources, including technology venture capitalist IQ Capital, AI/machine learning specialist and technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners and a number of leading technology investors. These include Laurence Garrett (Highland Capital Europe), Cambridge Professor Ted Briscoe, a world expert in natural language processing, as well as unnamed co-founders of CSR, plus Richard Gibson – previously executive chairman at Cambridge University spin-out SwiftKey.

Benedikt von Thüngen, CEO of Speechmatics, said: “Over the past two years Speechmatics has seen substantial growth, entirely through cashflow. The addition of these highly-experienced investors as advisers to the business will help accelerate the on-going commercialisation of our technology and place speech recognition technology at the heart of all communications.”

With a simple set-up and a combination of cloud and on-premise based solutions, Speechmatics technology enables businesses to generate data about customers and employees which is harnessed to improve process, efficiency, and benefit the bottom line.

In 2016, Speechmatics launched its new AI framework, Auto-Auto, which enables the company to add almost any language automatically. Since building the framework, Speechmatics has released a new language every two weeks, including most European languages plus Greek, Russian and Arabic.

Speechmatics has a successful track record of delivering exceptional results across a wide range of applications and industries: for example, language assessment with Cambridge English or content discovery with Udemy. 
Other applications include call centre analytics, call compliance, sub-titling, interview & lecture transcription and media monitoring.

Tony Robinson’s world-class research team utilises the latest ML and AI technology to offer continual improvements in accuracy, an ever-increasing range of languages and new business applications. This technology is also designed to integrate with other applications in the workplace to generate value and insight.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Speechmatics CEO, Benedikt von Thüngen

Kiss Communications

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