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Speechmatics earns government praise as its third international office opens in US

Speechmatics has opened its third overseas office, earning praise from the Department for International Trade.

The fast-growing Cambridge company, which uses machine learning to power its speech recognition technology, is now present in Denver, Colorado.

John Milliken, Speechmatics' CEO
John Milliken, Speechmatics' CEO

It will help it expand further markets such as broadcast media and contact centres, as well as into government, defence and intelligence.

US sales already account for 43 per cent of revenues at Speechmatics, which supplies blue-chip companies such as Adobe to Vonage.

Pieter Knight, strategic sales and business development at Speechmatics, who will head the US sales operation, said: “When you see how Speechmatics is already enabling many US businesses to rapidly build innovative applications, how much growth we have experienced in just the last year and how our technology is evolving, we are already very disruptive in the market. A physical presence in America is the obvious next step for the growth of our US business.”

The Denver move follows its office openings in Chennai, India, last month, and in Brno, in the Czech Republic, in November.

The expansion was powered by an investment of £6.35million in October led by AlbionVC, with IQ Capital and several angel investors following on in the Series A round.

Speechmatics has doubled revenue and headcount in the last year and earned the backing from the Department of International Trade (DIT), which is leading the government’s drive to boost British tech exports in a post-Brexit world.

International trade secretary Liz Truss said: “It’s great seeing innovative UK brands like Speechmatics taking advantage of the golden trading opportunities across the Atlantic, giving Americans access to the best British products.

The Speechmatics studio
The Speechmatics studio

“Exporters, importers and consumers across the United States and the East of England have everything to gain from striking free trade agreements around the world with countries like the United States.”

Speechmatics’ technology enables voice to be detected and transcribed in any context in real-time, using neural networks that take account of acoustics, languages, dialects, multiple speakers, punctuation, capitalisation, context and implicit meanings. From TV subtitles to searching for phrases in call centre recordings, CRM to security, and from software to consumer electronics, it has multiple applications.

CEO John Milliken said: “Our growth in the past year is evidence of the burgeoning demand for technology that allows organisations to innovate with voice data.

“Market drivers include legislation requiring broadcasters to make video more accessible and to analyse and derive insight from voice data in contact centres.

“The speech recognition market is set to be worth $21.5billion by 2024 and Speechmatics is ideally positioned to compete for a large slice of this exciting industry.”

The UK Government, Deloitte UK, BBC and what3words are among Speechmatics customers.

And the 2019 Queen’s Awards winner, which has offices in Kirkwood Road, Cambridge, has just announced a deal with the London-based information-driven consultancy SOHO2.

John Milliken, Speechmatics' CEO. Picture: Keith Heppell
John Milliken, Speechmatics' CEO. Picture: Keith Heppell

Its new product Speech2 promises to be an “industry first any-context voice solution”, analysing content from calls for compliance, legal and contact centre applications.

It will enable companies to identify risks, pinpoint sales opportunities and analyse customer feelings and behavior through choice of words.

Jeff Palmer, VP of sales at Speechmatics, said: “Speech2 will deliver unparalleled insights and risk management abilities, using Speechmatics’ any-context speech recognition engine. Soho2 also brings depth in services that deliver high-value machine learning solutions, which will benefit our customer-base.We’re excited to be working with Soho2 and seeing how their customers derive value from their voice data and view it with a renewed sense of curiosity.”

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