Seattle startup Symbl raises $4.7M from Amazon and others for ‘conversational AI’ enterprise tech – GeekWire
Symbl has raised more cash to fuel growth of its enterprise software that helps companies transcribe real-time conversations and pull more insights from internal meetings, customer care interactions, sales calls, and more.
Crosscut Ventures led the $4.7 million round, which included participation from Alexa Fund, Amazon’s voice-focused investment arm. Other backers include Jump Capital, Third Kind VC, Technexus Ventures, and Flying Fish, in addition to angel investors such as Capio founder Tony Chen and Tom Williams, founder of BetterCompany.
Symbl was previously known as Rammer.AI when it graduated from Techstars Seattle in May 2019. The 30-person startup sells an API that allows companies to generate insights from voice or text conversations natively as part of their existing tools.
For example, it can be used during meetings to produce transcriptions that streamline follow-ups and action items, or to provide suggestions for customer care workers on a call.
Symbl is part of a broader trend of startups taking different approaches to transcription-related service across various industries. Other similar companies include Verbit, which raised $91 million this year; Otter.AI, which raised $10 million; and fellow Seattle startup Saykara, which focuses on healthcare-related use cases. Tech giants including Microsoft and Google are also developing voice transcription features and services.
Former Amdocs colleagues Surbhi Rathore and Toshish Jawale co-founded Symbl in 2018.
Rathore said the pandemic has increased demand for Symbl’s “conversational AI” technology as companies accelerate their shift to digital services.
“The market for digital communication matured at an unanticipated multiplier,” she said. “We are seeing a transition for conversation intelligence as a good differentiator to an absolute must for businesses to grow and scale post-pandemic.”
Symbl recently participated in Alexa Next Stage, Amazon’s voice tech startup program originally called Alexa Accelerator, and also released a Conversational AI adapter for Amazon Chime SDK.
“We are impressed by the ease of Symbl’s API integration to enable developers to build customized conversational intelligence experiences,” Paul Bernard, director of the Amazon Alexa Fund, said in a statement. “Symbl’s product also showcases the power of harnessing voice technology in enterprise collaboration.”
Symbl has processed 5 million conversation minutes to date. The company previously raised a $1.8 million round in September 2019; total funding is $6.5 million. Brian Garrett, managing director at Crosscut, will join the company’s board as a result of the funding.