Dell Technologies and Intel lead $14 million Series A investment in BabbleLabs to accelerate speech technology
BabbleLabs, an advanced speech processing technology startup, has raised Series A financing of $14 million from institutional and individual investors to expand technical development in speech enhancement, recognition and analytics for noisy, complex environments, and to scale business development. The round was co-led by Dell Technologies Capital and Intel Capital, with contributions from new investors and all major seed investors. In connection with the funding, BabbleLabs announced that Gregg Adkin from Dell Technologies Capital and Vijay Reddy from Intel Capital will join its board.
Founded in 2017 by Chris Rowen, Dror Maydan, Kamil Wojcicki, Michelle Mao, Raul Casas, and Samer Hijazi, BabbleLabs is revolutionizing the communication among humans and machines by enhancing speech quality, accuracy, and personalization, to power breakthrough voice applications and devices. The startup is led by a team of world-class experts in Deep Neural Networks (DNN), speech, embedded systems, mass customization, and technology licensing for hyper-volume systems, BabbleLabs is innovating products through the powerful combination of speech science, deep learning, and computational processing.
BabbleLabs focuses on creating software to improve speech quality, accuracy, and personalization in voice applications through the combination of neural networks, digital signal processing, and speech science. BabbleLabs’ Clear Cloud and Clear Edge products provide speech enhancement in the cloud and in embedded edge devices for business-critical communication segments such as smartphones, business conferencing, customer service, field communication, and public safety.
“The real world is a noisy, chaotic place, yet we all want perfect interactions with others and with the devices that serve us,” said BabbleLabs cofounder and CEO Chris Rowen, who previously cofounded MIPS Technologies and Tensilica. “BabbleLabs leverages deep learning across a broad set of computing platforms to turn speech waveforms into better understanding.”
BabbleLabs’ team of neural network researchers, speech processing architects, signal processing and audio software experts has established new speech technology foundations. Founded by Rowen, Raul Casas, Samer Hijazi, Dror Maydan, Michelle Mao and Kamil Wojcicki in late 2017, BabbleLabs has been recognized as a leading startup in the emerging field of noise-robust speech science by Red Herring and other tech industry leaders.
“Speech is fast becoming a primary interface for the information universe and speech-centric processing will touch every class of end application and computing infrastructure,” said Gregg Adkin, Managing Director, Dell Technologies Capital. “We believe the BabbleLabs leadership team has the talent and vision to make a significant impact on this rapidly growing market.”
“The application of AI to difficult speech problems is exactly the kind of technical disruption that creates transformative companies. It will be in every device,” said Amir Khosrowshahi, vice president and CTO of the AI Products Group at Intel Corporation and co-founder of Nervana. “Getting it right with respect to low power, low latency, and high accuracy is very difficult and very valuable. BabbleLabs is doing it.”
The Series A financing will be used to expand technical development in speech enhancement, recognition and analytics for noisy, complex environments, and to scale business development. The funding will help the company support and expand current engagements with industry leaders to develop speech solutions running in the cloud and on smartphones, laptops, and smart IOT devices.