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Leading speech recognition technology company eyes global expansion

Shoosmiths’ corporate team has advised speech recognition technology expert, Speechmatics, on a £6.35 million Series A funding round, which will be used to grow the firm globally.

Speechmatics, a long-standing client of Shoosmiths, has created one of the most accurate speech recognition technology engines in the world, available in 29 languages, either in the cloud or, crucially, on-premises - a critical feature for businesses who do not wish or are unable to share data in the cloud. Speechmatics was recently awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the ‘Innovation’ category for 2019.

The Series A funding round was led by Albion VC with IQ Capital following on in this round along with other angel investors.

Corporate partner Alastair Peet led on the deal with support from associate Nick Little and solicitor Michael Dyer. Tax help was provided by partner Tom Wilde and associate Caroline Airey.

Alastair – who leads the team which was named Corporate and Commercial firm (Specialism) of the Year (Venture Capital) at this year’s The Legal 500 UK Awards 2019 – said: “It’s always a pleasure working with the team at Speechmatics and we wish them all the best with their product development and expansion into new markets.”

The funding follows the appointment of John Milliken as Speechmatics CEO in January this year to take the business to its next level of global expansion.

He said: “We’ve invested heavily into our product and machine learning capabilities to provide our customers with what we believe is the best speech recognition technology on the market.

“We recognise that businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of unlocking their voice data and utilising it for core business functions such as compliance, analytics, training and improving customer experience. This latest investment opens up not only global expansion but the opportunity for new product development and traction in new markets.

“We’d like to thank Alastair and his team for their proactive advice and solution-driven approach in a bid to get all parties together and the deal done.”

The £6.35 million funding will be used to enable product development and geographical expansion, with new offices being opened shortly in Denver USA, Brno in Czech Republic, and Chennai in India. The team is expected to grow to nearly 100 people by the end of the year.

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