SANTA CLARA — SoundHound Inc., a developer of voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, announced $75 million in new funding. The round includes a strategic group of investors including NVIDIA GPU Ventures, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Nomura Holdings, Inc., Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., and RSI Fund I (a VC arm of Recruit Holdings). Other new investors such as Kleiner Perkins, SharesPost 100 Fund, and MKaNN are joining previous investors Global Catalyst Partners, Walden Venture Capital, and TransLink Capital. SoundHound Inc. has raised $115 million in funding to date.
SoundHound plans to use the new funding to accelerate growth, invest in international expansion and realize the company’s vision of Collective AI through its Houndify platform. Houndify is the first independent AI platform that enables developers and business owners to deploy it anywhere and retain control of their brand and users, while differentiating and innovating. Houndify provides all the technology ingredients necessary for voice and AI integration, including the world’s fastest speech recognition, the most sophisticated natural language understanding, easy to use developer tools, knowledge graphs, and a large and rapidly growing number of domains. Domains are programs that provide a natural and fully conversational interface on specific topics, without requiring the users to memorize and use the specific phrasing of hard coded commands or skills. Houndify technologies represent 10 years of R&D and innovation by SoundHound Inc., resulting in significant and unique advantages.
One of the key advantages of Houndify is its architecture for collaborative intelligence called “Collective AI,” a powerful mechanism that facilitates collaboration among developers in a conversational intelligence environment. Collective AI enables developers to extend the functionality of existing knowledge domains without needing access to or a full understanding of the underlying libraries. 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. Houndify’s Collective AI architecture already provides access to knowledge and data from Yelp, Uber and Expedia, as well as over 100 other domains such as weather, stocks, sports, local businesses, flights, hotels, mortgage, and even interactive games. Houndify also provides a large number of domains specifically targeted for the automotive industry.
“We are at the inflection point of our long-term vision that every product or service needs to have a smart voice-enabled interface, and consumers have increasingly high expectations for this requirement, beyond simple commands or skills,” said Keyvan Mohajer, co-founder and CEO of SoundHound Inc. “With this strategic investment, we will bring the power of the proprietary technology behind our independent Houndify platform to even more users globally and amplify the rollout of our Collective AI architecture.”
In addition to advancing this vision of Collective AI, the funding will be used to further drive international expansion, particularly to Asia and Europe. Several of SoundHound Inc.’s strategic investors will be shipping products or services that take advantage of the company’s Houndify AI platform and its patented Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding™ technologies. Within the first year of its launch, over 20,000 developers have registered to use the Houndify platform for their products, including strategic partners Samsung ARTIK Smart IoT platform, and NVIDIA, which brings Houndify’s large vocabulary speech recognition and natural language understanding to cars even without cloud connection by utilizing NVIDIA GPUs. SoundHound also uses NVIDIA GPUs for fast training of the models powering its Houndify platform.