Voicera, whose AI assistant Eva creates transcripts from voice recordings of meetings, today announced the closure of a $14.5 million funding round, which includes backing from a few tech giants with plans to put their own assistants in the workplace. Formerly Workfit, Voicera uses natural language processing and speech recognition to make transcripts and spot task assignments or other noteworthy events in a meeting.
The round was led by E.Ventures and boasts an impressive list of participants: Microsoft Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Cisco Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Battery Ventures, and Workday Ventures. Voicera has raised a total $20 million thus far, following a $5.5 million seed round last February.
The money will be used to expand the company’s engineering team and bolster its AI systems that draw insights from meeting transcripts.
To make transcripts, Eva integrates with video conference services like Cisco’s WebEx, BlueJeans, Zoom, UberConference, and Skype. A portion of the funding will be used to bring Voicera to additional team communication platforms, potentially including products from investors such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco Spark, or Hangouts Chat, which introduced automated bots last week.
A few of Voicera’s funders with their own AI assistants, like Microsoft’s Cortana and Cisco’s Spark Assistant, have expressed ambitions to bring their own AI assistants to the workplace. Alexa for Business is also on the horizon in what is becoming a crowded market.
Voicera will stay competitive, cofounder Omar Tawakol told VentureBeat in a phone interview, by staying focused on meetings.
“Meetings are where people spend huge chunks of their time, except that time is completely disconnected from the workflow, and you have to remember possibly what was said and done for data entry and software systems,” Tawakol said. “So the whole idea is to change the enterprise and make voice be the driver for collaboration, so you can have any conversation — whether it’s a meeting, phone call, or one-on-one, and have that output automatically update Salesforce or Slack or some other system of record.”
Voicera has 19 employees and is based in Menlo Park, California.