Saturday 18 November 2017

Voice-recognition startup Voysis raises €7m

Peter Cahill
Peter Cahill
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

A Dublin-based startup has raised €7m to help develop its voice recognition technology.

Voysis, founded by Peter Cahill, has built a voice recognition system that specialises in natural language processing and text to speech capabilities.

The funding has come from Polaris Partners, which has also backed Irish tech startups Boxever and Profitero. Polaris was an investor in Logentries, which sold to Rapid7 for €64m in 2015.

Noel Ruane, European venture partner with Polaris Partners, has become executive chairman of Voysis.

Cahill said that Voysis will use the round of financing to expand its US team, opening a new office in Boston and to develop its technology for a wider range of partners and customer use cases.

It's been a busy period for Irish startups dabbling in voice technology. Last month, another Dublin voice technology company, Soapbox Labs, raised €1.2m. Founded by Dr Patricia Scanlon, Soapbox Labs uses deep neural net speech recognition technology to analyse children's speech in noisy 'real world' environments such as kitchens and cafés.

"Voice is finally breaking through as the next interface and companies across all industries are eager to leverage these capabilities so users can speak naturally with their favourite brands from their phones, cars, or home appliances," said Cahill.

"Apple, Amazon and Google have built general purpose voice assistants that do an excellent job of understanding simple commands, but can sometimes lack real utility and purpose for third party applications."

The news comes as Ireland undergoes a venture capital boom. Recent figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association show that €888m in funding was recorded here last year, mostly for technology firms. This represents a 70pc increase on the previous 12 months. The figures also say that 'seed' funding for early-stage startups exceeded €70m.

A Dublin-based startup has raised €7m to help develop its voice recognition technology.

Voysis, founded by Peter Cahill, has built a voice-recognition system that specialises in natural language processing and text to speech capabilities.

The funding has come from Polaris Partners, which has also backed Irish tech startups Boxever and Profitero. Polaris was an investor in Logentries, which sold to Rapid7 for €64m in 2015.

Noel Ruane, European venture partner with Polaris Partners, has become executive chairman of Voysis.

Mr Cahill said that Voysis will use the round of financing to expand its US team, opening a new office in Boston and to develop its technology for a wider range of partners and customer use cases.

It's been a busy period for Irish startups dabbling in voice technology. Last month, another Dublin voice technology company, Soapbox Labs, raised €1.2m. Founded by Dr Patricia Scanlon, Soapbox Labs uses deep neural net speech recognition technology to analyse children's speech in noisy 'real world' environments such as kitchens and cafés.

"Voice is finally breaking through as the next interface and companies across all industries are eager to leverage these capabilities so users can speak naturally with their favourite brands from their phones, cars, or home appliances," said Mr Cahill. "Apple, Amazon and Google have built general-purpose voice assistants that do an excellent job of understanding simple commands, but can sometimes lack real utility and purpose for third-party applications."

The news comes as Ireland undergoes a venture capital boom. Recent figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association show that €888m in funding was recorded here last year, mostly for technology firms. This represents a 70pc increase on the previous 12 months.

The figures also say that 'seed' funding for early-stage startups exceeded €70m.

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