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Speech recognition startup Liopa closes six-figure crowd-funded seed round

Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes

Lip-reading speech recognition startup Liopa has closed a successful seed funding round, raising two and a half times its target in four weeks on the crowdfunding website SyndicateRoom to commercialize ten years of research in speech and image processing.

The total raised was not disclosed, but the company confirmed to BusinessCloud that it is a six-figure amount. The backing came from a number of angel investors and the Fund Twenty8 EIS (enterprise investment scheme).

Liopa was founded in 2015, after spinning out from Queen’s University Belfast and the Centre for Secure IT.

Systems that rely on audio speech recognition (ASR), such as personal assistants from Amazon and Apple, are less accurate when exposed to real-world noise, including interior environments and windy conditions, according to Liopa’s announcement. The Irish company’s LipRead technology, in contrast, is agnostic to audio noise, and Liopa plans to sell it as an augmentation for existing voice systems, or what it calls “ASR-Assist.”

“This investment will allow us to grow our engineering capability and AI talent,” says Liopa CEO Liam McQuillan. “We’ll be able to accelerate the exciting developments we have planned in our roadmap, and protect our valuable IP.”

“The applications for their platform are wide ranging, everything from helping law enforcement decipher what’s been said on CCTV footage to giving those who have lost their ability to vocalise a new way to easily communicate,” comments SyndicateRoom Co-founder Tom Britton.

Liopa launched trials with established user authentication and identity verification providers to improve the anti-spoofing capabilities of biometric face recognition systems earlier this year.

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