27 July 2017

Aiqudo's new $5.2 million round for voice commands that control smartphone apps

Aiqudo's new $5.2 million round for voice commands that control smartphone apps

Aiqudo today announced it has raised a $5.2 million funding round. The company uses voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to control smartphone apps with pre-made or customizable voice commands. Aiqudo is currently available in beta in the Google Play Android store and is being reviewed for consideration in the iOS App Store.

Based in San Jose, Aiqudo also announced a merger with another Atlantic Bridge portfolio company Sophia. Former Sophia CEO David Patterson will lead Aiqudo’s team working on natural language processing to understand a user’s commands and tie them to actions taken by smartphone applications.

With the acquisition of the Sophia team and its machine-learning technology, Aiqudo has added a powerful AI platform and a seasoned team of data scientists and machine-learning experts to enable significant acceleration of its product development. The addition of 17 Sophia patents to Aiqudo’s current IP creates a larger patent portfolio that spans its Voice-to-Action AI platform.

Also planned in the coming weeks are an Aiqudo app for creating and carrying out custom commands, a software development kit, and a Google Assistant integration.

“We are excited to be active investors in Aiqudo which we strongly believe is enabling a great user and developer experience through its unique voice AI platform that makes digital assistants truly useful. We see the market for voice AI systems based on machine learning and natural language processing primed for explosive growth,” says Atlantic Bridge Capital Managing Partner Kevin Dillon.

Voice apps like Alexa skills and Google Assistant actions can do some pretty compelling things, but they aren’t actually used that often. On average, only 3 percent of Alexa skills are able to retain users after their first week of usage, according to voice analytics company VoiceLabs.

Custom integrations for apps voice computing have proven popular. IFTTT for example, has seen the creation of more than 750,000 custom applets since last fall for AI assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana.