Otter attracts $10m for AI-powered transcription app

Ben Heathcote | January 30, 2020

App Deals

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Otter, an AI-powered app that automatically transcribes voice into text, has closed a $10 million funding round. It was led by the investment arm of Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo, with participation from Fusion Fund, GGV, Dragon Fund, Duke University Innovation Fund, Harris Barton Asset Management, Slow Ventures and others.

Formerly known as AISense before rebranding to Otter.ai, the four-year-old startup has so far raised a total of $23 million in venture capital.

The latest investment was made as part of a new partnership with Docomo, which is piloting Otter in Berlitz’s English language classes in Japan.

“Otter is pleased to partner with market leader Docomo to bring innovative business collaboration offerings to Japan that transcend language and transform the way people work,” said founder and CEO Sam Liang in a statement.

“Docomo’s support and commitment have enabled Otter to quickly address business needs in Japan for a highly accurate meeting note-taking collaboration app.”

Otter’s app automatically records sentences according to the context of a speech, even over long multi-party conversations, and can transcribe text with high accuracy in real time.

The AI is used to identify and label speakers by name in meetings, and their conversations are accurately transcribed, significantly reducing the time required to produce reports or meeting minutes.