BabbleLabs is now part of Cisco

Investing in Speech

Speech is essential human behavior. It ties our families and our societies together at the most fundamental level. Speech isn’t easy, however. It takes years to learn, and even modest impairments from unfamiliar accent, noise and reverberation can render it incomprehensible. But when it works, people can harvest an enormous amount of information from a single utterance. From one snippet of speech, we can identify the speaker or at least the speaker’s demographics (gender, age, national origin); we can pick up on emotions; and we can (usually) make out the words. We even pick out clues about the immediate environment of the speaker. It’s a treasure trove of information.

We’re right in the middle of a fundamental technology transformation.
BabbleLabs invents and invests in technologies fundamental to improving our understanding of speech. We enhance the clarity of recorded and transmitted speech. We recognize speech intent. We are extracting an increasing range of insights from speech streams. The volume of speech from billions of people multiplied by the value of speech — especially critical communications within organizations and with customers — creates a huge latent market. The voice and speech recognition market alone is expected to produce $30B in revenue over the next seven years (Tractica 2018). And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to leveraging improved speech communications and analytics.

We’ve done a lot in our first two years.

We have laid a technical foundation of core algorithms, huge datasets and close working relationships with target users and customers. Thousands of people carry BabbleLabs apps on their phones and hundreds of thousands have listened to our speech transformations. And most importantly, we are starting to deploy optimized speech implementations running natively on phones, PC clients, and IoT devices, as well as in the cloud. This puts us in a position to ramp up our investment in both foundational technology and in deployment with customers.

What’s next for BabbleLabs?

Fortunately for us, key technology powerhouses recognize the potential in this market, too. We have just closed our Series A financing, bringing in an additional $14M in a round led by Intel Capital and Dell Technology Capital. We now have everything we need to ensure our technology evolves into deeply impactful solutions across a broad range of applications and environments.

What we will do with these additional funds? We will hire more great algorithm architects, deep-learning experts, speech scientists, embedded engineers and computer scientists. We will optimize more variants for more platforms. We will make the technology increasingly visible to enterprises for whom speech communication and speech understanding are not just important, but mission-critical. And we will show just how much more we can do with speech.

For more details about our recent funding round, read the press release. If you want to know more about how to transform your products, services, and business communications with BabbleLabs technology, contact us.

Last Updated: June 7, 2019 11:21pm

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