SoundHound has spent more than a decade in search of the right application for its artificial intelligence technology, from identifying songs to being a more accessible Siri on any mobile device. On Monday, the company achieved another milestone, raising $75 million in new funding, to fulfill ambitions it had years ago.
The latest investment round came from investors such as Nvidia, Samsung’s Catalyst Fund, Nomura Holdings, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Recruit Holdings’ RSI Fund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, SharesPost 100 Fund, and MKaNN. Global Catalyst Partners, Walden Venture Capital, and Translink Capital Partners have returned to participate in the series D round.
You might know SoundHound best for its self-titled app, which competes alongside Shazam in identifying music you’re listening to. But there’s one thing that is bigger than that: Houndify. Launched publicly in March, it’s the virtual assistant platform on which third-party developers can build — think of it as a mobile version of Amazon Alexa. It’s on this that SoundHound plans on spending its newfound capital, not only adding more “domains” to its Hound app, but making it and the platform available in more markets, specifically 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,” company CEO Keyvan Mohajer said in a statement. “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 A.I. architecture.”
Mohajer has a desire to “Houndify everything,” which means bringing SoundHound’s artificial intelligence to other connected devices. Imagine having a smart espresso machine that provides you with the latest news, weather, sports scores, and more while doing its primary task, or being able to use your voice to control information on your car dashboard, which is what Nvidia did with its DRIVE CX platform.
It’s more than just an app, but a platform that SoundHound wants to provide. For businesses interested in incorporating voice, building it themselves can be time intensive, expensive, and resource heavy. But by licensing the Hound platform, they could accelerate development.
Today, more than 20,000 developers are building on the platform. SoundHound has now raised $115 million in funding to date.