Today, Dutch AI startup Whispp, announced it has secured a €750,000 Seed round.
Whispp is one of the startups I recommend you meet with at this year’s CES, and uses AI to give people with speech impediments a strong new voice.
Whispp’s real-time assistive voice technology and calling app converts speech diminished by stuttering, throat cancer, vocal cord paralysis and ALS, into the person’s original, natural voice. This affects an estimated 300 million people worldwide.
Due to neurological changes in the speech mechanism, for several speaking disorders, deliberately steering the voice towards whispering is helpful.
People who stutter severely can reduce their stuttering frequency by an average of 85 percent while whispering.
Those who suffer from Spasmodic Dysphonia, a voice disorder characterised by involuntary muscle spasms in the muscles of the larynx, or Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis, a condition where (non-cancerous) tumours called papillomas to develop in the respiratory tract, particularly the larynx, speak much more relaxed and fluently when they whisper.
The funds come from lead investor LUMO Labs, and follow-on funds from Libertatis Ergo Holding BV, an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Leiden University, Ergo Holding BV, and other angel investors.
The founders will use the fresh capital to launch its assistive voice technology and its first paid and subscription-based calling app and pave the way for European and US expansion.
Whispp Founder and CEO Joris Castermans stuttered as a child, and was inspired to create the revolutionary Whispp technology because of his own speech issues.
“Our big bold dream is to have Whispp’s assistive voice technology available on every smartphone and laptop worldwide to create a more inclusive world.
To make this happen, we need and want to partner with mobile network operators and the largest technology companies in the world. We are confident that LUMO’s vast experience and valuable network will boost our growth.”
According to Sven Bakkes, Founding Partner at LUMO Labs:
“It is always special to meet a founder who has turned their own struggles and obstacles into innovative and groundbreaking solutions for others.
We are deeply impressed with the tenacity, creativity and positive mindset of Joris and his co-founder Akash and look forward to working with them going forward."
Lead image: Whispp. Photo: uncredited.