US-based voice automation start-up Uniphore has raised $400 million in its latest funding round that values the company at $2.5 billion, it said, as demand for artificial intelligence solutions grow worldwide.
Led by the US-based venture capital fund NEA, the round brings Uniphore’s total funding to $610m.
Existing investors, including California-based March Capital, and some new entities have participated in the latest round, the start-up said.
The company said it would use the new funds to advance its technology and “market leadership with advancements in voice AI, computer vision and tonal emotion”.
The funds will also help Uniphore to expand its business operations globally, specifically in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
“Understanding conversations and the data and insights derived from them is essential to every business,” said Umesh Sachdev, chief executive and co-founder.
“Our conversational automation engine has been delivering powerful and innovative solutions to help enterprises not just survive but thrive amid all the demands placed on them by customers. It is an incredibly exciting time to be in this industry.”
Founded in California in 2008, Uniphore says it is helping businesses disrupt an outdated customer service model by focusing on conversations. It offers conversational service automation technology using AI and machine learning to its clients.
Its specialities include speech recognition, voice biometrics, digital assistance, customer experience, speech analysis, conversational automation and data analytics.
The market for automating enterprise conversations has rapidly accelerated in the past few years as companies recognise the impact of positive customer interactions on their brand image and loyalty. As a result, many businesses have turned to AI and automation to create smoother customer experiences.
The global voice recognition market is predicted to reach $27.2bn by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8 per cent from $10.7bn in 2020, according to Statista.
“When we look at Uniphore’s technology and the great advances the company has made in the last few years, we are very excited about its future product road map and are thrilled to participate in this new round,” Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, venture partner at NEA, said.
“As we continue to operate in an increasingly virtual work model, technologies like Uniphore’s are a necessity for organisations that want to unleash their competitive advantage and take their business to the next level.”