12 Year Old “Startup” SoundHound Raises $75M

We all know Amazon. We all know Google. How about SoundHound? Not so much? Well, it’s a 12 year-old startup (what? 12 years to start?) that just got $75M to continue starting up and take on the big boys in the AI space. OK, good luck with that.

SoundHound, a 12 year-old Santa Clara, California based firm, just got a $75 Million investment to compete with Amazon and Google in the artificial intelligence space. SoundHound is one of only a couple firms that has developed from scratch core AI technology that can interpret and identify audio. This technology will allow other firms to use AI that the “big boys” tightly control. Go SoundHound, open up that market – fintech and otherwise. (Bill Taylor/CEO)

“SoundHound Inc., known for its music recognition app, raised $75 million to compete with the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Google to build artificial intelligence that helps machines understand human voices.

The 12-year-old startup is betting that as more everyday devices get connected to the internet, using speech to control and direct them will become the dominant form of interaction. The company aims to encourage device makers to use voice AI tools offered by SoundHound rather than try to build their own.

Santa Clara, California-based SoundHound is one of only a few companies that has built from scratch a core AI technology that can identify and interpret audio. Most of the others that have their own speech-recognition engines are big names, including Apple Inc., Baidu Inc., and Microsoft Corp. And many of them tightly control how the software can be used and the data that’s generated, said SoundHound Chief Executive Officer Keyvan Mohajer.

“We don’t have an agenda to hijack your product,” Mohajer said. “If you use Amazon, you lose your brand, your users. You have to ask your user to log into their Amazon account, they have to call on Alexa, and all the data belongs to them.” Meanwhile, when customers build voice-enabled devices or apps using SoundHound’s technology, the startup doesn’t own the users or the data, he said.”