The “Google of Sound” Deepgram Raises $1.8 Million In New Funding

Deepgram isn’t just another app with “-gram” attached.

TechCrunch is now reporting that this small tech start-up has raised $1.8 million in new financing led mainly by American seed accelerators Y Combinator and New York-based Metamorphic Ventures.

Billed as the “Google for audio,” Deepgram launched out of Y Combinator’s Winter 2016 course. This app uses AI to recognize speech, search for moments, and categorize audio and video. This web app uses deep learning to index audio and make it searchable for businesses. It provides companies with a simple-to-use AI. The Y Combinator blog illustrates one way companies might use this app:

For example, a company can use DeepGram to analyze their phone support audio dataset and search for moments where their competitors’ names are mentioned

The company was founded by University of Michigan students Noah Shutty and his lab supervisor Scott Stephenson. Stephenson is the current CEO for Deepgram, with Shutty taking the CTO role. In their Contacts page, the company writes that Shutty has a background in dark matter particle physics and math. Stephenson’s backgrounds lies in the same field, with a focus on big data. Along for the ride are Adam Sypniewski, an artificial intelligence scientist, and Brian Gamido, the Head of Business Development.

There are two samples sites that the company page gives so that people can check out how this app works: Podenvy, which searches for phrases in popular podcasts like TED Talks, and Radiolab, among others, and Hoogley!, which I still can’t figure out exactly what it does, other than showing campy 90s HTML page texts (which I do miss, strangely enough.)

According to TechCrunch, Deepgram now has 1,000 users. How do they bill their users? Simple. They charge by the amount of data that is processed by its clients. Speaking about their business plans, Stephentold told TechCrunch,

“We’re hiring and tackling the enterprise market. Businesses have millions of hours of recorded phone calls.

Speaking about their future plans, Stephenson said,

“In our roadmap is certainly to do more, but what that means is creating an automated audio AI brain.”