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A slew of investors, including Samsung Catalyst Fund and Nvidia GPU Ventures, raised about $75 million for SoundHound. This brings the total amount raised by the California-based company $115 million.
The funds will be used to further the development of the artificial intelligence (AI) program for Houndify. Just a year after its launch, Houndify has been entrenched into at least 500 products ranging from cars to appliances. As well as continue the expansion of its AI program, SoundHound hopes to expand its market through Europe and Asia.
SoundHound longed to stand alongside competitors such as Google and Amazon by starting its own voice-powered virtual assistant, Hound, in 2016. The resulting virtual assistant app took over a decade for research and the development of the technology.
According to SoundHound’s CEO, Keyvan Mohajer, the app’s purpose was to develop voice-based artificial intelligence that comprehends parts of a question. This allows the consumer to ask more specific and longer questions. SoundHound holds confidence in the growth consumer need for voice controlled devices.
The Houndify AI program was crafted with developers in mind. It provides them with the what they need in order to create AI and voice tech without having to start completely from the drawing board. The program attempts to further the creation of a “Collective AI”, which will permit the developers access to existing information.
Houndify already allows access to information from Yelp, Uber, and even Expedia. There are also hundreds of other places that provide information on weather, flights, and stocks. Yet SoundHound says that what makes it different from larger companies like Amazon and others is the fact that its tools don’t need to abide by any certain rules. SoundHound can arrange its tools without having to give up control of its brand.
In the year since Houndify has been presented, the program has over 20,000 developers registered to it. Even one of the investors, Nvidia, use Houndify technology for speech and language recognition in vehicles.
However, SounHound isn’t running this race all by itself. It has some competition in companies like MindMeld, a conversational AI company who announced the attempted development of its AI platform that makes it possible for companies to customize their own voice assistant for certain domains.
There is also Conversica who raised up to $34 million on an AI assistant program that uses AI assistants which use email conversation as form of communication.
SoundHound commented on the expectations of their platform saying, “This results in a global AI with comprehensive knowledge that is always learning, is crowdsourced to domain experts, and is larger than the sum of its parts.”