US-based SoundHound, maker of a music recognition and a voice search app, raised $75 million to “realise its vision of collective artificial intelligence (AI)” through its Houndify platform.
‘Collective AI’ enables developers to connect with others to create a “global AI with comprehensive knowledge that is always learning, is crowdsourced to domain experts, and is larger than the sum of its parts”.
It already works with companies such as Yelp, Uber and Expedia, as well as more than 100 other domains such as weather, stocks, sports, local businesses, flights, hotels and “even interactive games”.
The Houndify platform was launched in 2015.
The funding will also be used to drive SoundHound’s international expansion in Asia and Europe.
“We are at the inflection point of our long-term vision that every product or service needs to have a smart voice-enabled interface, and consumers have increasingly high expectations for this requirement, beyond simple commands or skills,” said Keyvan Mohajer, co-founder and CEO.
“With this strategic investment, we will bring the power of the proprietary technology behind our independent Houndify platform to even more users globally and amplify the rollout of our Collective AI architecture,” he added.
Within the first year of its launch, more than 20,000 developers have registered to use the Houndify platform for their products, including Samsung ARTIK Smart IoT platform, and Nvidia.
Nvidia GPU Ventures and Samsung Catalyst Fund both participated in the latest funding round.
The firm believes that the Internet of Things market has an increasing need for AI and claims that Houndify is the only independent platform that is allowing its partners to develop, own and control their own AI strategy, data, and brand.
SoundHound recently announced several partnerships that use the Houndify platform, such as a collaboration with Onkyo to develop smart speakers, as well as a collaboration with Shenzhen Tanscorp Technology for the Robot LQ-101, an “intelligent family service robot”.
Noting the popularity of products powered by Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, TechCrunch said that “while SoundHound’s app has been able to build a competitive product with Google Assistant and Siri, this year we also saw Alexa not only carve out a big place in homes but also begin embedding itself into new products”.