Building an Exceptional Culture with SoundHound’s CRO, Zubin Irani
Meet our Executive team! We’re back with our Executive Interview Series, this time interviewing SoundHound’s Chief Revenue Officer, Zubin Irani.
We are excited to share funding news and explain what it means for SoundHound Inc.® With a new strategic funding round of $100 million, we are committed to driving adoption and distribution of our Houndify™ voice AI platform across several verticals including automotive, Internet of Things, consumer products, and enterprise apps and services. The new funding will accelerate our global expansion, including additional language support, as well as new offices in China and Europe. This will also further current momentum, with increased hiring in the US, Japan, and South Korea.
Our strategic investors have aligned with our vision of a world of products powered by Voice AI. Participants in the round include Tencent Holdings Limited, Daimler AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Midea Group, and Orange S.A. These companies join our existing list of strategic investors including Samsung, NVIDIA, KT Corporation, HTC, NAVER, LINE, Nomura, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, and Recruit. This combined group reaches over 2 billion users globally.
Voice-enabled AI and conversational interfaces represent the next major focus in human-computing interaction. We built the Houndify platform to enable this massive paradigm shift, and are uniquely positioned to guide our partners in developing their voice AI strategies, while enabling them to maintain control over their own customers, data, and brand. We look forward to bringing the advancements that we’ve created to the Chinese and European markets.
More than 60,000 partners have registered on the Houndify platform since its launch in December 2015 and more than 1,000 distinct products are being powered by Houndify. At CES in January, we announced several integrations of our Houndify platform into various products, including a partnership with Hyundai in its Intelligent Personal Agent, a new voice-enabled virtual assistant system, in addition to integrations with HUMAX, BUNN, Mayfield Robotics, AvatarMind Robots, Modiface, PhotoSpring and Onkyo. Houndify is featured in our own products: Hound, the voice search & assistant app, and SoundHound, the music search, discovery and play app, making them hands-free and voice interface-enabled.
We look forward to bringing the advancements that we have created to the Chinese and European markets. In the meantime, developers interested in exploring the Houndify platform can visit Houndify.com to learn more and register. The Hound voice search and assistant app is available as a free iOS or Android app, and can be downloaded at SoundHound.com/Hound. The full press release can be found here.
For manufacturers and brands across industries, the imperative to provide a voice user interface is understood. What isn’t as clear is how to get there. Challenges, such as cost, time to market, and aligning to overall business goals, are some of the reasons many companies continue to “wait and see.”
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Voice assistants are increasingly the preferred method for users to search, ask questions, and complete tasks efficiently, quickly, conveniently, and hands-free. In 2020 alone, 45% of internet users searched via voice, according to We Are Social. Even before voice assistants became ubiquitous, the auto industry recognized voice AI as a way to deliver safer, smarter, more natural, and — most importantly — hands-free in-car experiences.
In-car voice assistants have become more than just a way to pull up music and navigation, hands-free. They are becoming the standard for exceptional driving experiences by offering functionalities that are defining the future of the auto industry. As car manufacturers seek to differentiate themselves in a market increasingly saturated with the latest technological advancements, they’ll need to distinguish themselves with voice AI that surpasses user expectations and needs.