HR tech platform Remote

California-based startup Ava raised US $10 million in investment. Khosla Ventures, which had participated in the seed round but wanted to lead this one, led around on May 7, 2022. Jim Sorenson joined as a new strategic investor, the founder of a deaf and hard-of-hearing telco, implying future mobile sector convergence. 

The round included participation from Initialized Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, LeFonds VC, and Ring Capital.

How Ava Works:

The global market for real-time communication access and transcription is worth US $20 billion, with over 450 million deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.

During the filming of Apple’s Oscar-winning “CODA,” Ava’s technology was used to enable deaf and hearing performers to communicate with one another.

Ava’s significant offerings include a web and desktop app, a mobile app, and Scribe, which combines Ava’s AI with a human editor.

Each solution is built to allow customers to observe real-time closed captions over any online or video meeting.

In the instance of Scribe, a human edits the speech as Ava’s AI transcribes it.

Ava currently provides captioning in 12 languages.

What the founder has to say:

CEO Thibault Duchemin:

“With the money, we’re doubling down on product and engineering, enabling new experiences that integrate Ava into our deaf and hard-of-hearing users’ day-to-day needs, retaining our brand around self-empowerment and accessibility done properly,” says the company.

We noticed this while reading Apple TV’s feature pushing the apps on the set,” Duchemin explained. “I believe that deaf and hard-of-hearing users eventually choose the technologies that best suit them and that their entourage reaps the benefits.” This is a win-win situation!”

Impact of the Pandemic:

Remote working — and consequently communicating via video chat — has become more common due to the pandemic. This has only increased the demand for speedy and accurate captioning services among the deaf population.

Furthermore, the widespread usage of masks, particularly in the workplace, has eliminated lip-reading as a mode of communication.

“There were a lot of disruptions during COVID because a lot of people started seeing masks and couldn’t connect,” explains Thibault Duchemin.

Duchemin argues that recent films such as “CODA” and Amazon’s “The Sound of Metal” have brought the deaf and hard-of-hearing community into the mainstream.

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Kshitij does business research and content writing for VCBay. Pursuing BBA from Symbiosis Center Of Management Studies (SCMS) Pune, he is skilled in Financial Modeling, Stock valuation and Microsoft Excel. He is passionate about Entrepreneurship and Finance.


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