Synthetic speech startup Murph gives voice to content creators of all sizes

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Synthetic speech tech startup Murph gives content creators of all sizes a voice. Murph, which now has a library of more than 120 human-parity AI voices in 20 languages, today announced that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Matrix partners. Participation came from several prominent angel investors such as return investors Elevation Capital and Ola founder Ankit Bhai; Disney Streaming SVP of Product; Ashwini Ashokan, founder of Mad Street Dap; and Pushkar Mukevar, Founder Drip Capital

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Founded in October 2020 by IIT-Kharagpur school friends Sneha Roy, Ankur Edki and Divyanshu Pandey, Murph’s previous funding announcement was a $1.5 million seed led by Elevation Capital and angel investors, who helped them recruit talent, product innovation and users. Helped invest in acquisitions. Murph says that since its seed round, it has grown 26X in ARR and synthesized over a million voice-over projects in a wide variety of speaking styles and vocals.

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Some examples of how Murph’s technology has been used include a tech entrepreneur and artist creating complete films using AI art models, deep simulated programs, and AI voices from Murph Studios; an entertainment animation agency that created a TV series using Murph’s collection of voices; author of creating fantasy fiction audiobooks with Murph’s AI voices; and a YouTube influencer who used Murf’s AI voice to create a rap video.

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founder of murf

Murph CEO Adaki told TechCrunch that even though Murph’s founding team has worked in various domains in the past, they all ran into the pain points of creating high-quality voice-overs. This included creating and updating product demos and recording radio and video ads. He added that the pandemic “spurred multimedia creation and the demand for scalable audio content was growing rapidly.”

Murph’s customers have used it in a variety of ways, including advertising, audiobooks, lecturer videos and e-learning., its SaaS platform, was developed to make it easier for customers to create high quality natural sounding voiceovers for any business purpose. The company’s clients range in size from individual content creators to SMBS and enterprises, and operate in sectors such as education, corporate, healthcare, media and entertainment, marketing, advertising, podcasting, customer support and more.

Adaki told TechCrunch that content creators and marketing teams often record voiceovers themselves, or outsource the entire process, both of which are “cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming.” Murph, on the other hand, lets users generate “human-like” voiceovers without the need to purchase recording equipment or hire a voice artist.

The company also wants to remove the limits of what text-to-speech can do. “While TTS has been around for quite some time, limitations in voice quality have restricted its use. By taking advantage of recent advances in AI and deep learning, we are making it possible to create high-fidelity synthetic voices that mimic the natural rhyming and pronunciation of human speech.

Murph’s platform includes an AI-enabled SaaS tool that helps users generate “human-like” sounds, typically for use in videos or presentations, without having to purchase complicated and expensive recoding equipment or hire a voice artist. . Content creators can make use of online voice recording booths, where they can sample a wide range of speaking styles. Murph seeks to bridge the diversity gap in traditional text-to-speech platforms by incorporating voices in accents such as African American, British, Australian and others.

According to market reports used by Murph’s founders, the global text-to-speech market is expected to reach $7.06 billion by 2028, growing at a CAG of 14.6%. Meanwhile, the voiceover and dubbing markets are predicted to generate a total of $8 billion annually by 2027.

Text-to-speech has been around for years, but quality limitations meant they were primarily used by voice assistants and chat bots. But recent developments in AI and deep learning mean that it is now possible to create synthetic voices that have the prosody and pronunciation of human speech. Murph’s AI engine trains on hours of real human speech, and Murph Studio produces over 120 human-like AI voices that can speak 20 languages. Murph is also working towards bringing in more diverse pronunciations by partnering with voice actors to bring voices overseas such as Afro-American, British and Australian English.

Murph’s AI-powered text-to-speech can also learn from contextual information to return correct responses. The founders describe Murph as an “all-in-one-voice solution” that enables users to add pictures, videos, and background music. It also has features for pronunciation using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), voice adaptations that change users’ pitch, pause, emphasis and tempo.

Murf makes money through subscription plans for its services. It came out of beta testing in January 2021, and over the past 18 months, has grown 22x in ARR and has synthesized over a million voiceover projects to date.

Adaki said Murph’s main competitors are large tech and cloud companies such as Google, Amazon, Polly and Microsoft, which have major text-to-speech platforms in the market. Murph differentiates itself with Natural Sounding AI Voice which also supports multiple accents and styles.

Adaki said, “Going beyond a simple text-to-speech tool, our platform provides users with the ability to include background music in images, videos, presentations and voiceovers and sync them perfectly to create compelling content. ” Murph’s AI-powered TTS can also learn from vast amounts of contextual information to create relevant speech. For example, it has a built-in context awareness that can recognize commonly used unit formats such as numbers, currencies, percentages, addresses, dates and times, reducing their randomness and bringing them closer to a predefined standard. , Edki said.

In a prepared statement, Mukul Arora, Co-Managing Partner, Elevation Capital, said, “AI-powered, life-like voiceover is the next frontier in the text to speech market. Murph, with its stellar founding team and unparalleled IP, is all set to take a leadership position in this space. His execution prowess and tech-first focus are evident in the solid traction and growth he has displayed so far. We are really excited to double down on our partnership with Murph.”

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