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Video messaging and chat company Tribe has announced the closure of a $3 million seed round and a new version of its chat app today. The app has had more than 500,000 users since its August 2015 launch.

Tribe also announced the arrival of what it’s calling “augmented messaging” or “magic words.”

Tribe 2.0 listens to your conversation, and when keywords are identified — like a product, celebrity,  calendar event, brand, or movie title — natural language processes convert speech to text and the words appear on the screen.

Each word brings you to within a tap or two away from a purchase on Amazon, new calendar event, Wikipedia page, or an Uber from wherever you are to your friend’s location.


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“Tribe will use the close of $3 million to further its research around natural voice processing and voice recognition to benefit magic words,” a Tribe spokesperson told VentureBeat via email.

The new version of Tribe also has public and private groups, and when muted, uses Google voice recognition for subtitles.


Above: What conversational commerce on Tribe looks like

Image Credit: Tribe

“The company is going beyond the outdated features of conventional messaging apps by creating the first asynchronous video messaging platform with an emphasis on groups,” Tribe said in a statement today. “Whether it’s with groups of friends, teammates or a long distance relationship, Tribe brings everyday conversations to life with video.”

The Tribe seed funding round was led by Sequoia Capital and included Ludlow Ventures, Partech Ventures, and Kima Ventures.


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