Tel Aviv-based accessiBe, a startup using AI to make website content more accessible for users with disabilities, has raised $12 million from K1, an investment firm based in California. The company will use the funding to scale operations in North America. The AI startup has developed a plug-and-play solution that makes website content accessible to users with visual, hearing and motor impairments, as well as other functional disabilities. The software scans website data, automatically makes modifications, and then transmits the content to end-users in the right format. “Our vision is to make the internet truly accessible to everyone,” says Shir Ekerling, the startup’s co-founder and CEO. The law is starting to require it, too. In a push for digital inclusion, online additions have been made to international and US disability standards, including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Already mandatory in the US, web accessibility will be declared mandatory in the EU around 2025, the startup predicts, and companies aren’t ready. In a recent analysis of 10 million web pages, the team found that 98 percent did not comply with WGAC guidelines. “By utilizing machine learning, our solution can help millions of businesses comply with legislation and avoid lawsuits on the one hand, while enabling users with disabilities to browse the internet effectively on the other,” added Ekerling. Founded in 2018, accessiBe has partnerships with DigitalOcean, BigCommerce, RealPage, Volusion, and WebFX to reach as many businesses, both small and enterprise, as possible.
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