In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, universities are required to provide disabled students with transcriptions of classroom lectures, but more often than not, universities rely on able-bodied students to volunteer to take notes. However, Verbit has the power to change this and other industries that rely on verbatim transcriptions and recordings. Verbit is the AI-powered transcription and captioning platform that transcribes speech regardless of accent, domain-specific languages, background noises, echoes, and more. To ensure the accuracy and quality of transcriptions/captions, Verbit has a network of 22,000 human transcribers that validate the technology-produced dictations. Verbit has more than 400 enterprise customers and serves a variety of industries including education, legal, media, government, finance, and insurance.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Tom Livne to learn more about Verbit’s technology and how this funding will help position it to be a leader in the global transcription market, which is more than $300B. Verbit has raised a total of $125M across four rounds.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Sapphire Ventures led our Series C round, with participation from our existing investors – Vertex Ventures, Stripes, HV Ventures, and ClalTech – as well as new investor Vertex Growth.
Tell us about the product or service that Verbit offers.
Verbit is a transcription and captioning platform that leverages a unique hybrid-model integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) – specifically Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) – and a network of 22,000 human transcribers to achieve 99.9% accuracy and industry-leading turnaround time that is ten times faster than the industry standard. Our cutting-edge AI technology – which transcribes speakers regardless of accent, domain-specific term usage, background noises, echoes, and more – generates detailed and professional transcripts and captions. This acoustic, linguistic, and contextual data is then thoroughly checked by Verbit’s professional, hand-picked human transcribers, who maintain quality assurance by editing and reviewing the material, and incorporating customer-supplied notes, guidelines, and more.
Before I entered the world of startups, I had a career in law, where transcripts are essential. I often found myself dissatisfied with the slow turnaround time of manual transcriptions but didn’t have the tools as a lawyer to tackle this issue head-on. A few years later, I decided I was more passionate about entrepreneurship than working as a legal advisor, which is when I decided to start my own tech company: Verbit. Verbit was founded in 2017 – providing a viable solution to the tedious process of manually transcribing legal documents that had so frustrated me as a lawyer.
How is Verbit different?
What makes Verbit different from other market offerings is our unique human-AI hybrid model that yields an unprecedented 99.9% accuracy rate by combining technology and a human touch. The combination of Verbit’s in-house Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) technology with professional human transcribers gives us a unique competitive advantage and quick turnaround times. This model provides clients with high-quality, word-for-word, interactive, and collaborative transcripts and captions in customizable templates. Verbit offers accuracy, scale, and customization that professionals and students depend on for ADA, FCC, and privacy compliance. Users are provided with domain expertise, cutting-edge AI technology, 24/7 customer support, and a tailor-made solution for individual customer needs. As a result, businesses, legal agencies, and universities can increase operational capacity, provide accessibility, and can serve more clients and students.
What market does Verbit target and how big is it?
Verbit’s customers are mainly within the education, legal, and media sectors with plans to target other sectors including government, finance, and insurance. Overall, there is a $30B addressable transcription market.
What’s your business model?
Verbit is a B2B SaaS company with over 400 enterprise-grade customers and we are continually expanding our customer base in the US and throughout the world. Verbit provides a tailor-made solution to its customers according to their exact needs. The packages vary accordingly and can be per audio minute, per volume of files, turnaround time requested, and more.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
Verbit has proven that it is well-positioned to handle the evolving needs of its customers and the changes society is undergoing in the wake of the pandemic. Case in point: we have successfully supported our university, media, and business customers’ transitions to remote and distance learning over the past several months, as well as the legal space’s shift to remote proceedings and digital depositions by providing live transcription and captioning tools, as well as new integrations with web-conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Webex.
We continually listen to our customers and their needs and are continually developing our products to support hybrid models of learning and work across sectors. Our aim is to support businesses through this work-from-home era and beyond by listening to market and consumer needs and staying committed to innovation.
What was the funding process like?
Despite what one might expect from raising a round amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, the process was rather well- structured with many investors who showed interest in our company. We spoke with around 40 investors until we landed on the best fit for us.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
The biggest challenge in fundraising any round – during a pandemic or not – is ensuring that all the pieces fall into place at the right time – i.e. creating a situation in which all investors in question make their offer within the same, short timeframe.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Investors were drawn to the growth trends that we demonstrated as well as the fact that we’re well-positioned to become market leaders of a $30B transcription market.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Over the next six months, our aim is to grow our customer base and keep innovating and investing in our product offering.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
With our latest funding round, we plan on expanding and developing our main verticals and unlocking new ones. We also plan to increase the number of languages Verbit supports, add more products, and boost hiring in order to help customers throughout the world accelerate their digital transformation.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC
Eyal Shani’s restaurant, Miznon, is by far my favorite outdoor dining experience in NYC.
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