Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Voiceflow has raised $15 million USD ($20.1 million CAD) at a $105 million USD valuation. OpenView Venture Partners led the round, which closed in April. Voiceflow says it will use the funds to invest in its core product.
Returning investors include Felicis Ventures, Craft Ventures, True Ventures, veteran voice-user interfaces designer Cathy Pearl, Google, Operator’s Collective, Ripple Ventures, Amazon, and the CEOs of Figma, InVision, Webflow, Ada Support, Eventbrite, and Product Hunt. The company’s total funding to date now tops $35 million USD.
Voiceover is a collaborative AI platform that helps teams build conversational assistants.
Voiceflow bills itself as a conversational AI platform that allows teams of any size to collaboratively build agents of any scale and complexity. The startup’s platform focuses on collaboration and usability.
Using Voiceflow, customers can save considerable time designing, testing, and deploying AI agents. As a result, teams build better conversational agents for customer support automation at twice the speed of traditional platforms, the company claims.
Voiceover is a collaborative AI platform that helps teams build conversational assistants. Voiceflow CEO and founder Braden Ream told BetaKit that what makes Voiceover different is its capacity for collaboration.
“It’s about having multiple stakeholders come together to work effectively, so we sell to big companies like J.P. Morgan, Amazon, Home Depot, lots of these fairly large companies where their conversational experiences are really complex, really sophisticated,” Ream said.
“They use a platform like Voiceover to collaboratively build these more sophisticated experiences than they would otherwise be able to do using a more traditional platform,” Ream said.
Voiceflow’s origin story begins In 2019 with an interactive startup called Storyflow offered a drag-and-drop tool that made interactive voice entertainment easy.
Over time, the startup realized customers were getting more value out of the builder tools the team was using internally than the story platform, pivoted to make the tooling company the main startup, and changed the name to Voiceflow.
Currently, Voiceflow works with a mix of customers, including a large and growing number of enterprise customers alongside a base of individual creators. Ream described the latter as conversational bot builders who are trying to build bots for all types of conversations: in-car assistance, automated drive-throughs, “you name it,” Ream said. “There’s 130,000 users now building all types of conversational bots and things like that.”
Ream called 2022 strong, with quick growth in the first six months of the year. He noted that the company’s last fundraising round was two years ago, in 2021.
“We had a bunch of VCs get interested in quarter one [of 2022],” he said. “We’d just launched a bunch of our AI features, including our generative AI customer support automation … and that led to a lot of investor interest. Ultimately, OpenView wanted to write a cheque.”
Currently, the startup has about 50 employees. Ream said it plans to hire, but doesn’t have “crazy goals” to double or triple or anything of that nature.
“We’ve always had frugality as a core tenet. For example, we raised our Series A in 2021. Coming into 2023, we still had the majority of those funds in our bank account. That’s what put us in a really good position to be able to fundraise because we didn’t really need to fundraise,” Ream noted.
“We’re doubling down on Toronto,” Ream said, who during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic went to San Francisco. “There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the Canadian tech scene right now. We’d love to show folks, ‘Hey, you can go fundraise. You can go kick butt, and ultimately build a great company that is world-class right here in Toronto.’”
Feature image courtesy of Voiceflow.