SoapBox Labs, pioneering developer of safe and accurate voice technology for kids, today announced a Series A investment of $6.5M from Elkstone Capital, Astia, and a number of private investors.
Named one of Europe’s hottest startups by Wired UK in 2019, SoapBox Labs was founded by Dr. Patricia Scanlon, whose popular TEDx talk explains the ways in which technology can “transform a child’s reading journey.” In 2018, Scanlon was named to Forbes list of Top 50 Women in Tech globally.
“SoapBox is at the nexus of some big trends right now – remote learning, voice, kidtech and data privacy,” said Scanlon. “We’ve invested deeply over the last 7 years in our people and our technology. With this funding we’re poised to capitalise on our strengths and the global market opportunities opening up to us in literacy, language learning and toys.”
SoapBox Labs’ proprietary high accuracy speech recognition technology caters to the idiosyncrasies and unique speech patterns of children that traditional speech technology is unable to decode. Built from the ground up by a team of world-renowned speech recognition and AI experts, SoapBox Labs’ age-appropriate, privacy-driven voice technology powers third party digital games, literacy, and English language learning offerings for children.
Last year, SoapBox Labs technology was chosen for the Reach Every Reader initiative, a partnership between the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative, Florida State University, and expert practitioners, students and families across the US to develop effective solutions for readers. Reach Every Reader was launched in early 2018 with funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).
“Astia has been an investor in SoapBox Labs since 2017. The company, led by globally recognized thought leader in children’s speech recognition technology, Dr. Patricia Scanlon, is driving solutions that enrich children’s digital experiences through voice technology, while enabling security that protects kids’ data privacy rights. We’re pleased to participate in this new funding round that positions the company for international growth and we’re excited to be part of the SoapBox Labs family and story.” Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia
“Having supported SoapBox Labs from the start, Elkstone are very pleased to be part of this latest funding round. SoapBox Labs are truly at the leading edge globally of voice technology for kids – and with voice-enabled tech becoming so pivotal, and huge multi market growth predicted – it’s an Irish company we’ll be hearing a lot more about. A stellar deep tech team with a real edge and global ambitions, I’ve no doubt SoapBox Labs has the ability to really scale as evidenced by the number of top tier collaborations they already have with leading global players in numerous verticals.” Alan Merriman, Principal, Elkstone Capital
About SoapBox Labs – “We Are Voice Tech for Kids”
We are on a mission to deliver the most accurate, safe, and age appropriate voice-enabled experiences for kids everywhere. SoapBox Labs currently licenses its proprietary online, offline and embedded kids’ speech recognition solutions to companies in the areas of literacy and English language learning, smart toys, AR/VR, robotics and gaming.