Ubona Technologies, a Banglore based business and consumer oriented speech recognition solutions provider has received a Series A investment from Capital 18, the venture and PE arm of Network 18.
According to the release, Ubona has developed a patent pending speech recognition software that can understand local languages, accents and dictions. I tried out the Foodie Hotline in Bangalore which it powers using ‘Hard Rock Cafe’ as the test line, while it detected it in a urban English accent, it didn’t get it when I asked two of my accentuated colleagues, one from the north and one down south, to say the same thing.
The obvious synergies will be with recently acquired Infomedia’s Yellow Pages. The business model would center around the same Cost Per Lead one used by Just Dial as well as sponsored listings for particular categories. It would tie in well with information services that arise out of Network 18′s group channels such as stock information and allied services. As an aside, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has a patent-pending voice search facility as well and had recently launched a call center based service via the number 1800-41-99-99-99 in Hyderabad.