Bangalore: Uniphore Software Systems, a speech recognition software company that was incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has raised an undisclosed sum from angel investors to expand into non-English speaking markets abroad.

The funding was led by Indian Angel Network members Nagaraja Prakasam and M.V. Subramanian along with Analog Devices Inc. founder Raymond Stata and YourNest Angel Fund.

The Chennai-based start-up builds applications around its patented speech recognition and biometrics software. These applications are used in mobile banking, agriculture and education in India.

“In a country of 1.2 billion people, where only 250 million speak English, vernacular speech recognition can enable financial inclusion to information dissemination to farmers," said Prakasam. “Uniphore is also a great example of solving problems of billion people, which opens opportunity for another 4 billion in emerging nations."

Uniphore was founded in 2008 by Umesh Sachdev and Ravi Saraogi, and got incubated at IIT-Madras’s rural technology and business incubator.

“We are going to use this round to expand into other non-English speaking geographies, especially Middle East and Southeast Asia. We would also want to include other global languages in our product offering eventually," said Sachdev.

Uniphore last year added a feature called audio mining that helps customer care centres of product companies mine large amounts of audio data. “Just like Big Data mines text, audio mining helps in audio analytics," added Sachdev.

Uniphore has almost 3 million users across the world, including 60 enterprise clients such as Axis Bank Ltd, ITC Ltd and Airbus India Operations Pvt. Ltd. The software currently recognizes 14 Indian languages and five international languages.

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