Listen Up, It’s BabbleLabs

BabbleLabs is revolutionizing the communication among humans and machines by enhancing speech quality, accuracy, and personalization — to power breakthrough voice applications and devices.

Led by a team of world-class experts in Deep Neural Networks (DNN), speech, embedded systems, mass customization, and technology licensing for hyper-volume systems, BabbleLabs is innovating products through the powerful combination of speech science, deep learning, and computational processing.

In your hands, our technology will accelerate progress toward a personalized, voice-activated world. BabbleLabs wants you to Speak Your Mind.

Our Team

Chris Rowen, PhD / CEO / Cofounder

Chris Rowen, PhD
CEO / Cofounder

Chris is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technologist. Most recently, he has led Cognite Ventures, a specialized analysis, investment and advisory company for deep learning start-ups. Prior to Cognite, he served as CTO for Cadence’s IP Group, where he and his team developed a new processor and memory for advanced applications in mobile, automotive, infrastructure, deep learning, and IoT systems.

Chris joined Cadence after its acquisition of Tensilica, the company he founded in 1997 to develop extensible processors. He led Tensilica as CEO and later, CTO, to develop one of the most prolific embedded processor architectures. Before that he was VP and GM of the Design Reuse Group at Synopsys. Chris was a pioneer in developing RISC architecture and helped found MIPS Computer Systems. He holds an MSEE and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and a BA in physics from Harvard. He holds more than 40 US and international patents. He was named an IEEE Fellow in 2015 for his work in development of microprocessor technology. In high school, his summer job was working in a NASA extraterrestrial biology lab. In college, he harvested peas in Washington. He still doesn’t know if we can grow peas on Mars.

Raul Casas, PhD / Chief Scientist / Cofounder

Raul Casas, PhD
Chief Scientist / Cofounder

Raul is an expert in wireless signal processing and neural network algorithms. He served as lead researcher in Cadence deep learning vision research. Key research included advanced work on improved network quantization and automated neural network structure learning for more efficient, high accuracy embedded neural network-based systems. Earlier, he led systems engineering for DTV at NxtWave Communications (later ATI) and cofounded Iberium Comms, a top DTV technology provider. He received BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering, all from Cornell University. He holds approximately 15 US patents. He learned meditation from the Brazilian Olympic Archery team and Lambada-dancing from a VCR. No shooting arrows with your eyes closed!

Samer Hijazi, PhD / CTO / Cofounder

Samer Hijazi, PhD
CTO / Cofounder

Samer is a life-long machine learning and signal processing researcher and product developer. He holds degrees from Kansas State (PhD), Lehigh University (MBA), South Dakota State (MSEE), and University of Jordan (BSc), with specialties in machine learning, image processing, and communications DSP. He has worked at the potent intersection of these technologies for over a dozen years at Qualcomm, Philips Research, Agere Systems, LSI Logic, Tensilica, and Cadence. Most recently, he spearheaded Cadence’s efforts to establish a highly respected position in neural networks and, as Engineering Group Director, establishing a core team of more than a dozen researchers focused exclusively on deep learning technologies. He holds more than 30 patents. Samer is handy with a Bobcat tractor. Do not call him for help with your yard.

Dror Maydan, PhD / VP Engineering / Cofounder

Dror Maydan, PhD
VP Engineering / Cofounder

Dror is an experienced technical leader, architect, and software expert. He created and led the Tensilica configurable processor software tools and team. He also led the architecture, hardware and software development for the Tensilica HiFi family, the most widely used modern audio DSP. He’s a widely recognized expert on compilers and parallel programming, previously leading the parallel compiler group at SGI, co-inventing the OpenMP programming API, and teaching a compiler class at Stanford. He holds a PhD in computer science from Stanford and a BS in EECS from UC Berkeley. He holds approximately 20 patents. Dror once jumped out of a plane and landed on a fence. He doesn’t recommend it.

Martha McClatchie / Controller and Head of Administration

Martha McClatchie
Controller and Head of Administration

Martha’s career in finance and business administration spans emerging markets, investment analysis, business development, and startup operations. She has excelled as a financial executive, controller, consultant, and board member. Her ability to bring a broad range of experiences and perspectives into decision-making, planning, and governance is a significant advantage for an early-stage company. Martha’s most recent position was Senior Director of Finance at Clarent Corporation. She is currently a member of the Financial Commission in the City of Los Altos. Martha has a BS in Business Administration from Boston University and is a CPA (inactive). She is a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence and a lifetime Girl Scout member. She loves puppies and cookies, what more do you need to know?

Erik Panu / Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Erik Panu
Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Erik's leadership in defining cultural, strategic, and objective boundaries has resulted in successful software business outcomes for startups and enterprises alike. As Corporate Vice President at Cadence, this approach enabled him to build and lead a team that successfully created a fast growing, profitable, new software industry category. Prior to Cadence, Erik’s boundary design approach drove a new method for engaging customers in a disruptive verification technology at start-up Verisity Design. Erik holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from the University of Georgia. He competes in the World’s Toughest Mudder contest, runs ultramarathons, and coaches baseball. It’s annoying, he never gets tired.

Our Investors

Financing for initial development and productization at BabbleLabs was led by Cognite Ventures, with additional funding support from Jerry Yang, founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures, and notable independent investors John Hennessy, Harvey Jones, James Hogan, and Kurt Keutzer.

Cognite Ventures, led by Chris Rowen, invests in, advises, and analyzes the deep learning start-up world.

AME Cloud Ventures is a venture fund led by Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo! AME Cloud Ventures focuses on seed- to later-stage companies focused on building infrastructure and value chains around data.