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Whispp Raises $820K to Launch AI-Powered Assistive Voice Technology

Whispp Raises $820K for AI-Powered Assistive Voice Tech

Dutch startup Whispp raised 750,000 euros (about $820,000) in a seed round to launch its artificial intelligence-powered real-time assistive voice technology and calling app.

Designed for people whose speech has been diminished by stuttering, throat cancer, vocal cord paralysis or Lou Gehrig’s disease, Whispp’s solutions convert speech into the person’s original, natural voice, according to a Tuesday (Jan. 9) press release issued by venture capital fund Lumo Labs, which led the seed round.

“Our big, bold dream is to have Whispp’s assistive voice technology available on every smartphone and laptop worldwide to create a more inclusive world,” Whispp founder and CEO Joris Castermans said in the release. “To make this happen, we need and want to partner with mobile network operators and the largest technology companies in the world.”

With the fresh capital, the company will launch its assistive voice technology and its first paid and subscription-based calling app, improve its AI technology and products, and create partnerships with industry leaders to expand into European and United States markets, the release said.

More than 1% of the world’s population suffers from a speech impediment or a progressive loss of speech, Andy Lürling, founding partner at Lumo Labs, said in the release.

Castermans was inspired to create the technology because of his own experience stuttering as a child, according to the release. He and Akash Raj Komarlu founded Whispp in 2019. The company closed a pre-seed round in 2022.

“It is always special to meet a founder who has turned their own struggles and obstacles into innovative and groundbreaking solutions for others,” Sven Bakkes, founding partner at Lumo Labs, said in the release.

Ninety-four percent of healthcare companies are using AI and/or machine learning in some capacity, Morgan Stanley said in September. The amount allocated to these technologies in health company budgets is expected to rise from 5.5% in 2022 to 10.5% in 2024.

Among the recent examples of the health field’s ventures into the AI space is HCA Healthcare’s partnership with Google Cloud and Augmedix, a tech company dealing with ambient medical documentation, to use generative AI for emergency medicine.

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