Cambridge-based speech recognition technology startup Speechmatics has raised $62 million in Series B funding to support growth and the development of its speech recognition engine. Leading the round was Susquehanna Growth Equity with participation from existing investors AlbionVC and IQ Capital. The company had earlier brought in £6.35 million in a Series A round in 2019.
The investment will be used to support global expansion across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific, improving infrastructure – particularly data centre capacity and adding further firepower to its research and development to deliver even more accurate understanding of even more voices. Currently, the company has offices in London, Boston, Chennai and Brno.
The UK-based deep learning scaleup aims to understand every voice regardless of the speakers’ demographic, age, gender, accent, dialect, or location. Training data earlier had to be manually tagged, classified or ‘labelled’ and therefore acceptable accuracy was only viable for a narrow set of the most commercially valuable speakers. The platform has built an inclusive speech-to-text engine
According to the company, the Speechmatics engine already understands 34 languages for live and pre-recorded media and processes millions of hours of transcription worldwide every month. Its features include advanced punctuation and entity formatting (formatting of numbers, currencies, and addresses).
Katy Wigdahl, CEO of Speechmatics, said: “The capital will enable us to double down on our vision to close the gap between humanity and machines, which is incredibly exciting. We have a real heritage in speech technology combined with some of the world’s most talented speech and machine learning experts. We cannot wait to accelerate our growth and unlock the understanding of more and more voices.”
Jonathan Klahr, managing director of Susquehanna Growth Equity, added: “We started tracking Speechmatics when our portfolio companies told us that again and again Speechmatics win on accuracy against all the other options including those coming from ‘Big Tech’ players.”
Robert Whitby-Smith, partner at AlbionVC concluded: “Our view is voice will become the increasingly dominant human-machine interface and Speechmatics are the category leaders in applying deep learning to speech, with category defining accuracy and understanding across industry use-case and requirements.”