Neosapience gets $21.5 million to use AI-powered avatars for creators TechCrunch

Startups

Artificial intelligence powered speech and video technologies have been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. A Korean startup Neosapience has developed a synthetic speech and video platform, Typecast, that allows users to convert text into a video without recording and editing in a studio.

Neosapience announced today that it has raised $21.5 million in a Series B round to accelerate growth and expand new geographies, particularly in the US. The new funding, bringing total funding to nearly $26.7 million, was led by BRV Capital Management, along with Stic Ventures and Quantum Ventures. Past backers Company K Partners, Albatross Investment Capital, Daekyo Investment and TimeWorks Investments also participated in the round.

“The latest round of funding will enable us to expand our reach and push the boundaries even further. It will not only enable content with less effort, but also execute on our vision that AI-powered virtual actors are accessible to everyone,” said Taesu Kim, co-founder and CEO of Neosapience.

Founded in 2017 by former Qualcomm engineers, the company started out as an AI voice service provider, providing 170 virtual voice actors in Korean and English. Last month, it added an AI-powered video (avatar) feature that looks like a real person. Neosapience also plans to add languages ​​such as Spanish and Japanese.

Neosapience Typecast

Image Credits: neo sapience

Most of its users are primarily creators and business customers who use the tool to create video or audio content for their business or personal channels such as vlogs and games, Kim told TechCrunch. His corporate clients include media and entertainment companies such as Hybe Edu, a subsidiary of Hybe Entertainment, which aims to create the voices of Korean boy bands BTS and over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Additionally, ebook platforms use Typecase to offer a range of audiobooks created by its AI voice actors, Kim noted. The company says its users can save costs and time while preserving audio quality by using Typecast’s avatar instead of hiring a real actor.

“We [want to] help creators to create more and better content with our service. The creative economy can be thought of as our total addressable market,” which is valued at $104 billion, Kim said.

Neosapience_typecast

Image Credits: neo sapience

One of the things that sets it apart from competitors is Typecast’s advanced technologies, including human-like emotions, speaking styles, prosody control, song and rap voice technology, Kim said.

“The promise of displaying emotions on a human level through technology has so far proved extremely difficult to fulfill. Neosapience continues to lead the way in speech and video synthesis and has successfully built the commercial infrastructure for individual creators and entertainment,” said Yeemin Chung, director of BRV Capital Management in a statement. “Media companies around the world can easily access a revolution in how emotions are embedded in digital and virtual content productions.”

Neosapience claims that it now has over 1 million users. Over the past two years, sales have grown approximately 18% per month since its launch in November 2019. The company has 41 employees as of January.

“While we have grown so rapidly in the past year, we see an opportunity to go even further to become the undisputed global leader in AI-powered virtual humans and its applications in synthetic media and interactive content,” Kim said.

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