Bespoken, a startup providing software solutions for voice app development, has announced a successful round of seed funding of US$2.4 million, led by independent angel investors.
Based in Lima, Peru, with offices in Seattle and Washington, DC, Bespoken’s software helps developers create, test, monitor and troubleshoot voice applications.
About 2,500 developers have used Bespoken to test and monitor over 1,000 Amazon Alexa skills and Google Assistant Actions, according to the company.
Voice application developers have previously tested their apps on real devices or softwares, which tend to be slow, tedious and error-prone manual interactions, said John Kelvie, CEO and co-founder of Bespoken, to Voicebot.
App testing softwares were designed to simulate pointing-and-clicking or generating direct API directions. But voice apps work differently – they rely on speech to work. This development gap inspired Kelvie to co-create Bespoken.
“Bespoken provides automated unit-testing, end-to-end testing as well as continuous testing (aka monitoring). Our end-to-end testing goes so far as to allow users to easily simulate a human speaker talking to a voice device. This is done simply by typing,” said Kelvie.
Besponken’s unit-testing tools can improve 10 times better code coverage and the company’s solutions can save 50% of time for quality assurance people compared to the manual effort, stressed Kelvie.
With the rising popularity of smart speakers, voice technology is gaining attention and adoption has increased. It’s been used in various industries like smart home, entertainment, elderly care, healthcare and hospitality. Besides Bespoken, other voice startups are receiving investment in 2018.
Independent voice assistant developer SoundHound closed US$100 million in financing in May; voice assistant developer Snips.ai raised a US$13 million round of funding in June; healthcare voice assistant startup Suki raised US$20 million in May; and voice interactive meeting assistant Voicera received US$20 million of funding in April.