SoundHound, a voice-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) and conversational intelligence technologies company, announced news on Thursday (May 3) that it has raised $100 million in new funding from a group of strategic investors.
In a press release, the company said investors in the round of funding include Tencent Holdings, Daimler, Hyundai Motor Company, Midea Group and Orange. Those companies join existing investors Samsung, NVIDIA, KT Corporation, HTC, NAVER, LINE, Nomura, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa and Recruit.
SoundHound plans to use the funding to drive adoption and distribution of Houndify, its voice AI platform in the automotive, Internet of Things, consumer products and enterprise apps and services markets. The funding will also be used to open new offices in China, France and Germany.
“Voice-enabled AI and conversational interfaces represent the next major focus in human-computing interaction that will impact every business in the years to come,” said Keyvan Mohajer, co-founder and CEO of SoundHound, in the press release. “We built the Houndify platform to enable this massive paradigm shift, and we are uniquely positioned to guide our partners in developing their voice AI strategies while enabling them to maintain control over their own customers, data and brand. We look forward to bringing the advancements that we’ve created to the Chinese and European markets.”
According to SoundHound, Houndify is the only independent AI platform that lets developers and businesses deploy a conversational interface while still maintaining control of its brand and users. SoundHound said more than 60,000 partners have registered on its Houndify platform since it launched back in December of 2015, and more than 1,000 distinct products are now being powered by Houndify.
At CES in January, SoundHound announced several integrations of its Houndify platform into various products, including a partnership with Hyundai with its Intelligent Personal Agent, a new voice-enabled virtual assistant system.
“We believe that connectivity in vehicles will become a part of everyday life in the near future, and it will soon be possible to control entertainment, navigation and real-time driving information by voice command,” said Sajjad Khan, VP of Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler, which invested in the company. “Houndify provides a solution to make these interactions natural, fast and accurate — critical components for allowing drivers to concentrate fully on the road.”