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Dialpad raises $50 million Series D to expand AI transcription services

Dialpad is the company behind the conference calling system UberConference.

Video: AI combines voice and face to determine human emotion

Business communications platform Dialpad on Tuesday announced that it's raised $50 million in Series D funding led by ICONIQ Capital, with Andreessen Horowitz also participating. The round brings Dialpad's total capital raised to date to $120 million.

Dialpad is the company behind the conference calling system UberConference. It also makes a suite of apps for voice and video communications, as well as customer service call center management software. Dialpad's co-founder and CEO Craig Walker was co-founder of GrandCentral, a VoIP company acquired by Google in 2007 that would later become Google Voice.

Read also: Get free small-business phone service from Dialpad

Recently, Dialpad shelled out $50 million to buy TalkIQ, a company whose software uses AI to transcribe conference calls in real time. According to Walker, the TalkIQ purchase was the impetus behind this latest funding round, not a lack of cash.

Walker posits that TalkIQ's built-from-scratch software -- now rebranded under Dialpad as VoiceAI -- is unlike anything else currently available on the market, and Dialpad wants to ensure it has the wherewithal to support its research and development teams as they integrate VoiceAI across its product portfolio.

"The real use of why we raised now, even though we didn't need it, is because we acquired acquired TalkIQ," Walker said. "We took it now to accelerate and stay ahead of the market. We want to press that advantage."

Read also: Google launches Gmail add-ons to make email more useful - CNET

Dialpad competes with both fellow startups and legacy tech vendors in the business communications space, including RingCentral, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting and 8x8. Increasingly, these companies are turning to AI software for refined transcription services, and Dialpad wants to stay ahead of the curve.

Dialpad also plans to immediately hire 80 to 90 new employees in to its sales, marketing and engineering teams, and expand its presence in Europe. Meanwhile, Will Griffith of ICONIQ Capital will join Dialpad's board.

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