- Amsterdam-based AI startup Amberscript has raised $10 million to make video content more accessible
- The counts Disney, Warner Brothers and Puma among its customers.
- Check out the pitch deck it used to raise the fresh funds below.
Amberscript, an AI startup that wants to make all video and audio more accessible through improved subtitling, has raised $10 million in fresh funding.
The Amsterdam-based company combines algorithms with a “human layer” of transcribers to improve the accuracy of subtitles across media, education and in the workplace.
Founded in 2018, the startup boasts the likes of Disney, Warner Brothers and Puma among its customers. It claims to have transcribed over 253,515 hours of audio since its inception, with most users based in the Netherlands and Germany.
There’s no shortage of competitors in the audio transcription market with investors pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the sector. Israeli startup Verbit landed $157 million in June, while Californian startup Otter.ai raised $50 million in February.
Peter-Paul de Leeuw, the Amberscript founder and chief executive, said that Europe presented unique challenges due to its range of languages.
“There’s mostly companies from the US and in China working on it [speech recognition], which also means that Europe is left behind,” he told Insider.
“The American English accent is really well represented, and China is really well represented in Mandarin Chinese. All other languages, they have much less accuracy. We’re trying to solve that and basically provide services in all languages in Europe.”
Amberscript’s transcriptions will always be checked by native speakers, de Leeuw said, to ensure both the words and their meaning are accurately portrayed. It comes after Netflix’s subtitles came under fire for missing the nuance in Korean series Squid Game.
As well as media, Amberscript hopes its technology will improve education for deaf and hard of hearing pupils, which will then translate to greater representation in the workforce.
“We always deliver 100% subtitles, which is very important because our main target audience are deaf and hard of hearing,” de Leeuw said.
“There’s a lot of nuances which need to be understood if you are in a professional context. If you are in a lecture for university, it’s very important to understand exactly what is being said in order to really grasp an understanding of the subject.”
At its fastest, the startup can turn transcriptions around in one day, but its standard is five. De Leeuw added that it takes Amberscript roughly one hour to transcribe one hour of video, which he claimed is much faster than the industry standard of “around eight hours”, using individual professionals for each video.
Amberscript also builds bespoke transcription engines for its clients so the algorithm is trained on niche terminology and industry jargon as well as on audio quality so that it can be more accurately transcribed. It is using the fresh round to build out sector-specific algorithms in multiple languages, as a bespoke builds currently take around a month.
Currently home to 40 employees, who speak over 25 languages, Amberscript has 25 open vacancies. It will scale to 100 in the next two-to-three years, with roles including AI engineers, developers, and sales and marketing.
As the company scales its presence, first to Europe and then across the globe, de Leeuw aims to build out teams dedicated to each country.
The Series A raise was led by Endeit Capital, a growth capital firm founded by former executives of Dutch media company Endemol, which Amberscript claims validates its potential in the media industry.
It bring the company’s total raised to $12 million.
Check out Amberscript’s pitch deck below: