500 Startups Canada tops up Fluent.ai’s seed round to $2 mln

500 Startups Canada has invested in the seed-stage financing of Fluent.ai Inc, a Montréal-based artificial intelligence startup focused on developing speech recognition technology. The round, announced in May, was increased to $2 million as a result. Its other investors include BDC CapitalDanhua Capital, Creative Destruction Lab and Maple Leaf Angels. Fluent.ai also announced that British AI entrepreneur William Tunstall-Pedoe has joined its advisory board. Tunstall-Pedoe founded Evi Technologies, acquired by Amazon in 2012. He also contributed to Fluent.ai’s seed round.

Photo: William Tunstall-Pedoe, founder of Evi Technologies.


Fluent.ai Announces the Nomination of AI Entrepreneur and Former Amazon Voice Tech Executive William Tunstall-Pedoe to Its Advisory Board

MONTREAL, QUEBEC and OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – June 28, 2017) – Fluent.ai Inc., a Canadian artificial intelligence start-up focused on developing high performance speech recognition technology, today announced that renowned British Artificial Intelligence entrepreneur William Tunstall-Pedoe has joined Fluent.ai’s Advisory Board. Mr. Tunstall-Pedoe founded Evi Technologies which is now a division of Amazon following its successful acquisition in 2012. The core technology formed a significant basis for Amazon Alexa and the Amazon Echo.

“Fluent.ai represents a tremendous opportunity validated by its issued patents and early market adoption. Fluent uses deep learning to enable high performance ‘speech understanding’ irrespective of language and accent and in noisy environments. The technology can also enhance privacy by being run offline and requires far less training data than competing technologies. This makes it the ideal approach for OEMs to add voice interfaces to their devices,” said William Tunstall-Pedoe.

“We are thrilled to welcome William on our Advisory Board. His unparalleled deep technical knowledge and successful venture capital track record in the field of Artificial Intelligence is a valuable addition to our growing team,” said Niraj Bhargava, CEO of Fluent.ai. “We look forward to drawing on his experience as a senior leader in the team that defined, built and launched what is clearly one of the hottest consumer tech products in the last few years.”

After leaving Amazon in 2016, the University of Cambridge computer scientist, entrepreneur and speaker, is now an angel investor. As a full member of Cambridge Angels and a fellow of the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), Mr. Tunstall-Pedoe now spends his time helping and investing in Artificial Intelligence start-ups. He is focused on supporting the advancement of state-of-the-art computer technologies that have the potential for enormous global impact. William joined other CDL Fellows in investing in the recent Fluent.ai seed financing.

At the end of May 2017, the Company completed the final closing of its previously announced oversubscribed Seed A financing with the contribution of 500 Startups Canada, for total proceeds to CA$2 million. 500 Startups joined the ranks of a select group of international investors which includes BDC Capital, Danhua Capital, top AI investors from the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), TandemLaunch and experienced angel investors from the Maple Leaf Angels (MLA).

About Fluent.ai
Fluent.ai Inc. is a Canadian company with offices in Montreal and Ottawa offering OEMs and user interface designers a voice interface solution for their products and services. Fluent.ai’s patented approach sidesteps the need to convert speech to text and instead learns to understand the meaning of audible speech – in any language or accent. The result is highly flexible, accessible and accurate voice interface solution that performs robustly even in offline and noisy environments. www.fluent.ai

Fluent.ai Inc.
Niraj Bhargava

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Photo courtesy of William Tunstall-Pedoe