The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated growth in many areas over the past year. However, few saw an explosion as large as voice-enabled technology. As companies shifted towards remote work models, they quickly realized that things like voice recognition and audio transcription capabilities were extremely important.
Even so, the technology is still young and has plenty of room for further growth. Deepgram is one of the companies leading the way. After completing a Series A round at the beginning of the pandemic last March, the startup has now raised $25 million in fresh funding for its artificial intelligence-based speech recognition and voice data analysis tools.
The digital transformation that has occurred over the past year has been incredible to witness. Companies around the world are embracing new technologies like never before, leading to further innovations in a multitude of sectors. That’s especially true for artificial intelligence and the technologies that rely on it.
Deepgram was starting to make an impact last year before the pandemic. However, COVID-19 has drastically sped-up its timeline. As voice-enabled technologies became essential tools for business in all industries, Deepgram was ready to meet their needs.
They say that data is more valuable than gold these days. Just look at companies like Facebook and Google that have turned customer data into billion-dollar businesses. Most of this data comes from things like web browsing, forms, emails, and apps.
However, as Deepgram notes, 90 percent of the world’s data is unstructured. That is, it comes in the form of videos, images, and audio.
Zach DeWitt of Wing VC, one of the firms that recently invested in Deepgram, notes, “Voice is the largest treasure trove of enterprise data waiting to be unlocked. Deepgram is modernizing speech recognition for the modern enterprise, making it fast and simple to unearth valuable data from any conversation, meeting, or customer interaction.”
Smart Data Collection
Gleaning useful data from audio sources isn’t easy. That’s especially true considering the remote nature of today’s business. Obstacles like poor microphone quality, having multiple speakers on a video call, and business being conducted in multiple languages all stand in the way of simple voice recognition.
“Today’s speech recognition technology is designed for simple queries, think your Alexa or Siri,” DeWitt says, “but enterprise speech is more complicated… Deepgram’s end-to-end deep learning approach is revolutionizing what data can be extracted from voice, providing enterprise customers unparalleled accuracy and scalability.”
This innovative approach helped Deepgram analyze 100 billion spoken words in 2020 alone. Along the way, the startup also developed a new training capability. Dubbed Deepgram AutoML, it makes developing AI models a more streamlined process.
Deepgram’s $25 million Series B round was led by Tiger Global. It also included participation from other noteworthy names, including Citi Ventures, Wing VC, SAP.io, and Nvidia Inception GPU Ventures.
With the cash injection, Deepgram will look to continue building on the success it found in 2020. Given the current state of the world, there is no reason to believe that voice recognition technology won’t continue to see demand in the coming years. Deepgram’s cutting-edge solutions should keep it at the forefront of the industry.