AssemblyAI, a leading “applied AI” startup, has raised $50 million in a funding round led by Accel, featuring contributions from prominent investors like Keith Block and Nat Friedman. The company, founded in 2017, focuses on researching, training, and deploying advanced AI models, particularly in the realm of speech technology.
The investment comes as businesses globally are increasingly embracing generative AI, with IDC forecasting worldwide investments in “AI-centric” systems to reach $154 billion by year-end. AssemblyAI reports a remarkable 200% growth in its paying customer base, now serving 4,000 brands, and handling a staggering 25 million API calls daily. Their platform is utilized by over 200,000 developers to process more than 10 terabytes of data each day.
AssemblyAI CEO Dylan Fox highlighted the company’s commitment to simplifying AI integration for enterprises, allowing them to focus on product development rather than the complexities of model training. The startup specializes in speech-focused models, offering capabilities such as speech-to-text, speaker identification, content moderation, and speech summarization.
“Enterprises that leverage AssemblyAI’s API platform are able to focus on building new AI products, applications and workflows without having to focus on model development, training and keeping up with the rapid pace of model innovation. Nor do they need to worry about deploying AI models at scale themselves, which is extremely challenging to do for low cost and with high availability.” He said
Despite competition from established players like Google Cloud and AWS, Fox asserts that AssemblyAI’s models are more advanced, accurate, and feature-rich. The newly acquired funding will support the development of a “universal speech model” trained on over a petabyte of voice data, set to launch later this year. Additionally, AssemblyAI plans to expand its workforce by 50-75%.
In essence, AssemblyAI aims to become the “Stripe for AI models,” providing developers and product teams with easy access to state-of-the-art AI through a simple API. With years of runway secured by the latest funding, the company anticipates meeting the growing demand for AI solutions in the mainstream market.