Intelligent Speech Platform api.ai Unveils Unlimited Free Developer Product and Secures Funding to Democratize Voice-Enabled Tech
To date, api.ai has processed 2.3 billion voice commands and given more than 8,000 developers a voice
PALO ALTO, Calif. (Aug. 20, 2015) - Today, api.ai, the leader in conversational interfaces for apps, devices and web, announces it has secured a $3 million investment led by SAIC Capital, the California based venture capital arm of China’s largest automaker, SAIC Motor. SAIC Capital primarily invests through their established SAIC Technologies Fund I, LLC. Other participants include Intel Capital, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, and the Alpine Technology Fund. The funding will be used to further improve api.ai’s deep learning methods for speech recognition, intent classification and dialog management. It will also be used to expand partnerships with hardware and software platforms and open its service to developers for free with no limit to the number of queries.
“It’s only a matter of time before every car sold around the world is voice-enabled and there’s no room for a fragmented ecosystem with segmented technology,” said Anish Patel, Senior Investment Director of SAIC Capital. “api.ai’s industry-leading open platform will pave the way for better, more accessible and useful voice controls in everything from smartphones to cars or televisions. That’s why we’ve decided to invest in their continued growth and success.”
api.ai’s cloud-based speech recognition and natural language understanding capabilities are now free to use for developers. For enterprise customers, api.ai offers paid consulting, on-premise or embedded implementations, custom speech recognition models and technical support.
Developers can learn how to deploy an api.ai – powered voice interface in five minutes by clicking here.
To power its voice platform, api.ai harnesses machine learningso that it constantly becomes more intelligent with each processed voice command. As the engine behind the top-rated voice assistant in the world, Assistant, api.ai’s ability to understand human speech improves every time one of Assistant’s 20 million users issues a command. Similarly, every developer using the platform actively contributes to api.ai’s crowdsourced knowledge base and continually improves the platform’s underlying data. Together, this means that api.ai already understands the many different ways people will interact with your app or connected device.
api.ai is the leading cross-platform voice interface solution on the market. With api.ai, a single voice interface can be deployed across mobile apps, web-services, IoT devices, robots, gaming and communication platforms. This reduces development costs, shortens time to market, eliminates potential inconsistencies in user interfaces, and allows developers to retain access to their data.
“We’re still in the early days of voice-enabled technology becoming mainstream and the potential is enormous. Our goal is to empower every developer and company with the tech to make great conversational interfaces in-house,” explained Ilya Gelfenbeyn, CEO and co-founder of api.ai.
The news follows a period of traction and growth for the company. api.ai has processed over 2.3 billion voice commands, attracted over 8,000 developers and added support for 12 languages and 14 dialects. In addition, api.ai was recognized as Gartner’s Cool Vendor in Smart Machines, 2015 category as an industry leading open conversational interface.
“As a cross-platform voice interface which is easy to deploy, api.ai is uniquely placed to become a go-to product for everyone from solo developers to Fortune 100 companies.” said Marcin Hejka, Vice President, Intel Capital, Managing Director, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “This product is a classic example of the technology that Intel Capital is investing in to power the technology ecosystem. We look forward to helping api.ai accelerate its growth.”
api.ai also has added several notable industry figures to its board of advisors, including Stephen Wolfram, CEO and Founder of Wolfram Alpha, the knowledge engine that powers Siri’s ability to answer questions, Google CEO of Project Loon Mike Cassidy, and Dariusz Paczuski, Head of Growth at Yahoo who previously oversaw product and marketing efforts for Microsoft’s voice platform, TellMe.
api.ai is the leader in cross-platform conversational interfaces for connected devices and apps. Its open platform continuously improves with each command and enables natural language understanding and intelligent request fulfillment. Learn more at api.ai
About SAIC Motor
SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor) is the largest auto company on China’s A-share market. SAIC Motor’s business covers the research, production and vehicle sales of both passenger cars and commercial vehicles. It also covers components including engines, gearboxes, powertrains, chassis, interior and exterior and miscellaneous electronic components, and logistics, vehicle telematics, second-hand vehicle transactions and auto finance services. SAIC Motor’s car sales hit 5.62 million units in 2014, up 10.1 percent on the previous year and further consolidating its leading position in the domestic auto market. In 2014, the company climbed 25 places to rank 60th on the annual Fortune Global 500 list, thanks to its $102.25 billion in revenues. Details at http://www.saicgroup.com/english/index.shtml
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, consumer Internet, digital media and semiconductor manufacturing. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested nearly US$11.6 billion in over 1,440 companies in 57 countries. In that timeframe, 213 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 373 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2014, Intel Capital invested $359 million in 125 investments, including 59 new deals. For more information on what makes Intel Capital one of the world’s most powerful venture capital firms, visit www.intelcapital.com or follow @Intelcapital.