London/New York-based ElevenLabs, a generative AI startup working on audio AI software has landed $80 million in a Series B funding round at a valuation of $1B and has hit the unicorn status.
The investment was co-led by New York-based VC Andreessen Horowitz which also backed their last round of $19 million in June 2023. Further, Nat Friedman (former CEO of GitHub, Daniel Gross, Sequoia Capital, Smash Capital, SV Angel, BroadLight Capital, and Credo Ventures also participated in the round.
Founded last year by ex-Google and Palantir staffers, the startup also raised $2 million at the beginning of 2023, from Czech UiPath investor Credo Ventures.
ElevenLabs intends to use the latest funding to cement its position as the global leader in voice AI research and product deployment. It will use the capital to advance research, expand infrastructure, develop new products for specific verticals, and enhance safety measures to ensure responsible and ethical development of AI technology.
New voice AI products on cards
In addition to this investment, ElevenLabs has unveiled new product developments, which will go live over the coming weeks.
Firstly, it has launched a new Dubbing Studio for users to dub entire movies, and generate and edit their transcripts, translations, and timecodes, providing additional control over content production. The next one is a Voice Library marketplace, which will provide a secure platform for users to earn from their AI-generated voices. Users can create a professional AI version of their voice, verify it, and share it via Voice Library.
The company also showcased an early preview of the Mobile App reader that enables instant conversion of text and URLs into audio, making it easier for users to access content in another medium while on the move. The app will be available free of charge for the first three months and users will be able to register for early access via the waiting list.
These will add on to the existing products – Speech Synthesis for lifelike text-to-speech conversion along with a Turbo model optimized for latency; Voice Design and Voice Cloning for creating bespoke voices; Speech-to-speech for transforming one voice into another; and AI Dubbing tool, capable of automatically translating audio and video into 29 languages while preserving the original speaker’s voice and emotions.
Furthermore, ElevenLabs will soon expand the Turbo and Speech-to-Speech models, currently available in English, to a wider set of languages.
Idea behind ElevenLabs
ElevenLabs was founded in 2022 by childhood best friends – Mati Staniszewski with experience at Palantir Technologies and Piotr Dabkowski, a former Google machine learning engineer. Inspired by the mediocre dubbing of American movies they watched growing up in Poland, their native country, the pair set about designing an AI platform.
The AI audio startup with headquarters in the US and an office in London, works with the mission to make content universally accessible in any language and in any voice and has now attracted over 1 million registered users across creative, entertainment and publishing spaces.
ElevenLabs can turn text into speech using synthetic voices, cloned voices or entirely novel artificial voices that mimic the sounds of people of various genders, ages and ethnicities. The company’s AI text-to-speech models allow corporate customers to fine-tune them and build their own, proprietary speech models.
Piotr Dabkowski, CTO and co-founder of ElevenLabs, stated: “Our team’s dedication has already made a lasting impact on voice AI. This new funding enables us to take on even bigger challenges and focus on maintaining our competitive edge in research and product development.”
Mati Staniszewski, CEO and co-founder of ElevenLabs added: “Our ambition remains the same – to transform how we interact with content by breaking down language and communication barriers. We’re building cutting-edge technology to make content accessible across languages – and voices – to enable everyone to connect with information and stories that matter. Our progress so far is a testament to our dedicated team and investors, and while it’s still only the beginning of our journey, together we’re helping shape the future of accessibility and communication.”