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Startup Speechly raises over $2M to launch natural language and speech recognition technology

Startup Speechly raises over $2M to launch natural language and speech recognition technology

Conversational technology startup Speechly has raised €2 million (US$2.2 million) in a seed funding round led by Cherry Partners, with participation from Seedcamp and others. The funds will be used to further develop and launch Speechly’s public APIs.

The company says its technology enables developers to build sophisticated, real-time and multi-modal voice user experiences, and resolve the fundamental problem for voice assistant platforms of consistently handling complex user requests. Unlike such platforms, Speechly can also be integrated with familiar apps and UIs, according to the announcement, without giving up valuable user data.

Current SDKs and APIs are also too complex or else offer developers insufficient control over user experience.

“Speechly offers developers the ability to easily build delightful voice user experiences that integrate well with their products and brands. We believe our technology will bring voice the same kind of renaissance as the iPhone brought for touch in 2007,” says Hannes Heikinheimo, Speechly CTO.

The company states its spoken language capabilities can be utilized by almost all non-NLU expert developers with easy-to-use SDKs and APIs.

“Speechly’s technology can be the Twilio for voice UIs and change the way developers use and think about voice in the future,” claims Cherry Ventures Partner Filip Dames.

The differentiation point in the technology is the way natural language understanding and speech recognition are combined, the company says in the announcement, delivering a faster and more intuitive experience.

The company cites a CB Insight forecast that voice recognition will be a $49 billion market in 2024.

“It is hard, but not impossible to compete against the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple. But our approach to voice UIs is different. We don’t need to monetize our customers’ data or tie developers into our ecosystem,” assesses Otto Söderlund, CEO of Speechly.

The big speech recognition funding announcement of 2019 saw Uniphore raise almost $38 million in Series C funding.

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