Astarc Ventures backs speech recognition startup Liv.Ai

By Bruhadeeswaran R

  • 16 Aug 2017
Credit: Thinkstock

Liv Artificial Intelligence Pvt. Ltd, which runs artificial intelligence startup Liv.Ai, is raising a fresh round of investment from venture capital firm Astarc Ventures, people familiar with the matter told VCCircle.

“We are in the process of raising funds but cannot confirm the amount or the names of investors as the process is not complete yet,” said Liv.Ai co-founder Subodh Kumar, when VCCircle enquired about the details of the transaction.

According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, between 2015 and 2016, Liv.Ai had raised capital from former Flipkart executive Amod Malviya, Manik Lather of LMR partners and Kotak Securities executive Ravi Nathan Iyer, among others.

The company was founded in May 2015 by IIT Kharagpur alumni Subodh Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Kishore Mudra. Kumar, an alumnus of IIM-Bangalore, had stints in Citi and Microsoft. Sanjeev, who has a PhD from the University of California, had worked with Qualcomm and Avaak, while Mudra had been with Broadcom and Samsung before going on his own.

Liv.Ai’s indigenously built speech-to-text software is used across e-commerce enterprises and government utilities, besides companies with a consumer interface. The government has been using the platform to get feedback from citizens and call centre companies are using it for voice search. The application helps reduce time and labour costs as the answers are transcribed and are ready for analysis.

In an earlier interaction with VCCircle, the company had said that it was developing its technology to go beyond providing transcripts of conversations and to draw inferences from text, enabling companies to carry out tasks or data analysis the moment they receive input from the customer.

Kolkata-based Mihup Communications Pvt Ltd, which operated artificial intelligence-based personal mobile assistant app Mihup, is yet another player in the segment which offers a voice recognition-based interface for devices and applications.

The platform is built on automatic speech recognition technology with an AI-based core that has components of natural language processing and information retrieval. The system, which work both offline and online, currently supports Indian English, Hindi and Bengali. The Accel-backed company used to previously operate a mobile assistant, but pivoted to its current business in June.

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