PALO ALTO — Audioburst announced two new strategic and investment partnerships totaling over $10 million from Dentsu Inc. and Hyundai Motor Company in conjunction with existing investors. The next-gen voice-search company plans to build unique advertising and in-car voice-based experiences with the two leading brands. Audioburst also announced plans to formally launch in the Japanese market at the end of 2019 with Japanese language capabilities.
Audioburst has now raised $25 million to date. Dentsu and Hyundai are joining other strategic investors including Samsung Ventures, Nippon Broadcasting Inc. and Advanced Media Inc.
“The investments signal an industry acknowledgment for consumer demand of voice-based experiences, and Audioburst’s unmatched ability to deliver that technology,” said Amir Hirsh, Co-Founder and CEO, Audioburst. “It also provides us the ability to expand and expedite our technology offering, and tap into a larger ecosystem of investors and partners in the car, media, advertising and technology spaces.”
Dentsu, the world’s largest agency brand, believes it’s necessary to create intelligent, audio-based advertising solutions for this rapidly growing market. As part of the partnership, Dentsu will work closely with Audioburst to build a new market for personalized audio as an effective advertising channel for brands in Japan.
“Personalized advertising in the radio space has been limited to-date. In addition, the emergence of voice-activated services and audio content have provided a rapidly growing advertising opportunity for our clients,” said Hideki Ishibashi, Managing Director of Dentsu Innovation Initiative. “Partnering with Audioburst allows us to offer our global clients a solution backed by millions of pieces of content and user metadata, and a powerful understanding of listeners’ interests.”
For Hyundai, the $5 million investment also includes plans to accelerate the development and deployment of the next generation infotainment system with Audioburst’s personalized audio search, playlists and Deep Analysis API. This will provide consumers with an engaging, screen-free and original-voice experience, and Hyundai with an in-depth understanding of the content being searched for and enjoyed in real-time.
“At Hyundai, our mission is to have our cars connected by 2020 and provide our customers with the best possible in-car experience,” said Dr. Yun-seong Hwang, Vice President of Hyundai Motor Company. “Partnering and investing in Audioburst ensures we will lead the charge in a data-driven first class audio experience.”