Artificial intelligence-powered voice and video technologies have been gaining steady popularity in recent years. A Korean startup called Neosapience has developed a synthetic voice and video platform, Typecast, that lets users turn text into a video without recording and editing in a studio.
Today, Neosapience announced it has raised $21.5 million in a Series B round to accelerate growth and expand new geographies, specifically into the U.S. The new funding, which brings its total funding raised to almost $26.7 million, was led by BRV Capital Management, along with Stic Ventures and Quantum Ventures. Previous backers Company K Partners, Albatross Investment Capital, Daekyo Investment and TimeWorks investments also participated in the round.
“The latest round of funding will allow us to expand our reach and push the boundaries even further. It will not only allow content with less effort but also execute on our vision of AI-powered virtual actors being accessible to everyone,” said Taesu Kim, co-founder and CEO of Neosapience.
The company, founded in 2017 by former Qualcomm engineers, started out as an AI voice service provider, offering 170 virtual voice actors in Korean and English. Last month, it added an AI-powered video (avatar) feature that looks like a real person. Neosapience also plans to add languages such as Spanish and Japanese.
Most of its users are primarily creators and enterprise clients that use the tool for creating a video or audio content for their business or personal channels like vlogs and games, Kim told TechCrunch. Its corporate clients include media and entertainment companies like Hybe Edu, a subsidiary of Hybe Entertainment, which wants to create the voices of Korean boybands BTS as well as over-the-top (OTT) platforms. In addition, e-book platforms use Typecase to offer a range of audiobooks created by its AI voice actors, Kim noted. The company says its users can reduce cost and time while maintaining audio quality by using Typecast’s avatar instead of hiring an actual actor.
“We [want to] help creators create more and better content with our service. The creator economy can be considered our total addressable market,” which is estimated at $104 billion, Kim said.
One of the things that sets it apart from competitors is Typecast’s advanced technologies, including human-like emotions, speaking styles, prosody control, vocal and rap voices technology, according to Kim.
“The promise of exhibiting human-level emotions via technology has proven to be extremely difficult to achieve to date. Neosapience continues to spearhead the voice and video synthesis space and has successfully constructed the commercial infrastructure for individual creators and entertainment,” Yeemin Chung, managing director of BRV Capital Management said in a statement. “Media companies around the world can easily access to revolutionize the way emotions are embedded into digital and virtual contents productions.”
Neosapience claims that it now has more than 1 million users. Over the last two years, its revenue has grown by approximately 18% per month since its launch in November 2019. The company now has 41 employees.
“While we have grown so rapidly over the past year, we see an opportunity to push even further to become the undisputed global leader in AI-driven virtual humans and its applications in synthetic media and interactive content,” Kim said.