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Gen AI voice revolution: This British startup secures $19M funding with backing from Andreessen Horowitz and ex-GitHub CEO

The ElevenLabs team. Image credit- ElevenLabs.

London and New York-based ElevenLabs, a voice technology research company working on audio AI software, has recently raised $19 million in their Series A funding round led by ex-GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, a16z, and investor Daniel Gross.

The funding will fuel the company’s voice AI research and product deployment. Building on the success of its Beta platform launched in January 2023, ElevenLabs claims to have amassed over 1 million registered users within just five months.

ElevenLabs, based in London, uses artificial intelligence to translate text into realistic spoken language. The startup raised $2 million in the beginning of 2023, from Czech UiPath investor Credo Ventures.  It is estimated that the company is valued at around $100 million, according to media reports.

Unveiling the future of voice AI

ElevenLabs was co-founded in 2022 by Piotr Dabkowski, an ex-Google machine learning engineer, and Mati Staniszewski, an ex-Palantir deployment strategist. Growing up in Poland, exposed them to American movies with poor dubbing. This inspired them to develop audio AI models capable of creating versatile and contextually aware AI voices, leading to the birth of ElevenLabs. After a year of dedicated research and development, ElevenLabs unveiled its Beta platform in January 2023. The platform, which offers a text-to-speech AI solution, has since garnered popularity, and registered over one million users who have collectively generated 10 years’ worth of audio content.

Redefining content creation

ElevenLabs stands at the forefront of the audio AI revolution, providing tools to transform any text into speech using synthetic voices, cloned voices, or entirely new artificial voices. 

The platform’s versatility has garnered widespread adoption across various creative verticals, including independent authors creating audiobooks, developers voicing characters in video games, and empowering visually impaired individuals to access written content online. Furthermore, ElevenLabs has established strategic partnerships with industry players such as Storytel, TheSoul Publishing, and MNTN, solidifying its position as a key player in the audio AI market.

$19M Series A funding fuels growth

The recent $19 million Series A funding will support the company’s research and development efforts, allowing them to expand their innovative research hub for Voice AI and launch a range of additional products catering to specific market verticals, including publishing, gaming, entertainment, and conversational applications.

Nat Friedman, an American technology executive and investor renowned for his tenure as the CEO of GitHub, and Daniel Gross, a startup founder and investor, have joined forces with Andreessen Horowitz to back ElevenLabs.

Mati Staniszewski, CEO, and co-founder of ElevenLabs, comments, “Over the last five months, we’ve seen our technology embraced by millions of creators, companies, and curious minds. We are right at the beginning of this journey and now with Nat, Daniel, and Andreessen Horowitz joining, we have the best partners as we continue on the ambitious path forward.”

Piotr Dabkowski, CTO, and co-founder of ElevenLabs, continued, “Since our inception in April 2022 we have focused on assembling a great team – one of the key factors for long-term success – and have built a unique team of talented, passionate, and hardworking people. With such a wonderful set of colleagues and partners, we are well on our way to realising our ambition of completely breaking down language barriers with technology.”

New product developments

In the coming days, ElevenLabs is set to unveil a new set of capabilities, cementing its position as an industry leader in voice AI technology. One of the notable upcoming features includes an AI Speech Classifier, which will enhance the platform’s ability to detect AI-generated audio. This tool will enable users to upload an audio sample and determine whether it contains AI-generated content from ElevenLabs, further emphasising the company’s commitment to transparency and safety within the generative audio landscape.

Another one is the introduction of Projects, a highly anticipated production workflow tool designed for editing and creating dynamic, long-form spoken content. With Projects, content creators such as publishers and independent authors gain unprecedented control over their AI-generated audio. The tool offers a user-friendly interface, facilitating seamless integration of AI voices into various audio productions such as audiobooks and podcasts. Content creators can customise and fine-tune the AI-generated voices, adjusting pacing, tone, and emphasis to create a personalised and engaging listening experience for the audience. They can also add natural elements like pauses and breaths to enhance the overall quality and realism of the narration. Projects revolutionises the production process, streamlining workflows, and saving time and effort for content creators.

Mati Staniszewski, added, “Our mission is to be the ultimate tool for storytelling, dissolving language barriers and putting all audiences in the reach of all content creators in a safe and responsible way. With an incredible, growing team and these exceptional investors, ElevenLabs is now ever closer to realising its long-term goal of making all content universally accessible in any language and any voice.”

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