Voysis was founded by Peter Cahill and the company’s platform utilizes speech recognition, natural language processing and understanding, deep learning, and text-to-speech capabilities, all of which were developed in-house.
The aim of Voysis isn’t to be the next Siri or Alexa, it’s to be the perfect shop or in-car assistant, leading the charge in the voice-technology revolution.
We caught up with David, Andreasson, Director of Finance and Operations at Voysis to hear a little more:
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is David Andreasson, I’m the Director of Finance and Operations at Voysis. I also advise startups at MassChallenge in Boston, which is the largest startup incubator in the world.
Prior to Voysis, I worked at Ernst & Young in the Mergers & Acquisitions team in Dublin, and on Silicon Valley Bank’s tech team in London.
Very few technologies are expanding as rapidly as voice technology is right now. Why do you think that is?
Voice technology has been around for nearly 80 years, back when Bell Labs was working on their own speech synthesizer in the 1930’s. Since then, Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant have ushered in a new wave of voice technology that has become an essential part of our lives. We use these assistants to get the weather, play music, make calls and more.
What this has done, is given people the ability to see what a voice-enabled world would look like. Voice adoption over the last three years with smart speakers, has led to the projection of nearly 100 million of these devices to be sold by the end of the year. A combination of its growth, coupled with its accuracy and helpfulness, has led to it being the fastest-adopted technology since the iPhone.
How is Voysis managing to stay ahead of the curve?
At Voysis, we’re staying ahead of the advancements in voice technology in two ways:
1. We’re investing in state of the art technologies like Wavenet, which is the next generation of text-to-speech. This methodology has dramatically decreased the computing power required to run the AI models, powering the next generation of voice interfaces.
2. We’re building a commercial go-to-market team around the mission of democratising access to this technology. As a result, we’re having a hand in its adoption in verticals such as commerce.
What is Voysis doing to support the consumer and business requirements of voice interfaces?
We’ve taken less of a vendor approach to be more of a helpful advisor to our customers, and the broader market. Many companies are still trying to understand how their customers could benefit most from voice, and we see ourselves as the educational partners to help them realise that vision.
To do that, we’ve taken a vertical approach to AI, meaning rather than building a generic assistant that can tell you the weather or essentially guess what you’re trying to say, our voice AI for commerce understands that “Dri-Fit” is a Nike brand, and “slacks” means pants.
By building a voice assistant tailored for each company in their respective vertical, we can be highly accurate and personalised within the user experience.
Is there a particularly industry that you think will benefit most from voice technology?
The vision and mission are closely aligned, aimed at making voice technology accessible to all businesses and use cases, regardless of in-house expertise or resources.
The industries that will benefit most from it to start, will be where people are currently interfacing with another person. This includes call centres and customer support, drive-thrus and quick serve restaurants, and commercial banking.
How have you thought about your international expansion once you raised your Series A?
We’ve thoughtfully expanded our offices based on what we call, “Centres of Excellence”. Boston has become the headquarters of our Go-to-Market effort, given our core customer base of the commercial arm of the business is in the US.
Ireland is our product and engineering hub, as our founding team and core technology was created there. And when we hired Ian Hodson, Google’s former head of Text-to-Speech, we strategically opened an office in Edinburgh, Scotland to increase the investment in R&D.
From a recruiting, technology and go-to-market perspective, we’ve been extremely thoughtful in our expansion, and will continue to do so as we serve new markets and grow the team.