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21 November, 2019 - 21:45 By Kate Sweeney

Czech mate for Cambridge speech recognition company

Speechmatics, an automated speech recognition company based in the Cambridge technology hub has opened an office in Brno in the Czech Republic.

The move was flagged up with the recent £6.35m Series A fundraise. As previously reported other new offices are due to open in Denver in the US and Chennai in India. 

With competing for top tech talent in the UK against tech giants such as Google and Amazon, VP Paul Aykroyd says he had to utilise different recruitment strategies in the new talent pool of Brno. 

Speechmatics is currently looking for a team of 6-7 employees in Brno, as part of a company-wide team growth from 50 to 100 total employees by the end of this year.  

The company has attracted 12 leading PHDs from Cambridge and Imperial by offering them the freedom and empowerment to develop and implement their own ideas. 

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 automatic speech recognition (ASR) market is currently worth $7.5 billion 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.

Speechmatics’ Series A was led by AlbionVC. IQ Capital followed on alongside several angel investors. At the time of last month’s fundraising, CEO John Milliken said: “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.”

Ed Stacey, Managing Partner at IQ Capital, added: "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.”

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