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NYC Growth Equity Firm Stripes Leads $31 Million Series B AI Funding

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Artificial Intelligence Transcription technology company Verbit has raised an estimated $65 million to boost its brand. The latest series B funding round, totaling $31 million, was led by New York City-based growth equity firm Stripes.

Existing investors Viola Ventures, Vertex Ventures, HV Ventures, Oryzn Capital and ClalTech are also participating.

Verbit will use this latest investment to further accelerate the company’s rapid growth, including expanding to new industry verticals, adding coverage of new languages, and continually innovating its speech recognition technology to make Verbit the best-in-class solution for all transcription and captioning. This news comes on the heels of the release of Verbit’s Real-Time transcription solution and the opening of its first U.S. office in New York, which is expected to triple in headcount in 2020.

“We are extremely proud to have been able to turn Verbit into one of the market-leading companies in our industry 3 years after its inception”. said Tom Livne, CEO and co-founder of Verbit. “This latest financing round is an important milestone in Verbit’s journey and strengthens the incredible momentum we had in 2019. The collaboration with Stripes is a great indicator of Verbit’s category-leading product and will allow us to continue innovating in the market.”

The fast growth of the Israeli technology market is demonstrated by the large volume of investments in Israel-based tech companies, which raised a record of $8.19 billion in 2019, easily surpassing the $6.4 billion raised in 2018, which itself was a record. Stripes, formerly known as Stripes Group, is investing in Verbit as its second Israeli investment after leading monday.com’s Series C and is actively looking to deploy more capital in the region.

“We are thrilled to partner with Tom and the rest of the Verbit team on their mission to build the leading AI-powered transcription and captioning platform,” said Saagar Kulkarni, Stripes’ partner who will join Verbit’s board of directors. “We are big believers in the power of AI to fundamentally change business models and provide critical services better, faster, and more affordably. Verbit has already demonstrated incredible value to its customers across many verticals, and we believe they are just getting started in transforming this $30 billion market.”

More than 150 customers in the legal and higher education industries, including Harvard, Stanford and Coursera, utilize Verbit’s in-house, AI-enabled speech recognition technology. Verbit’s voice technology is approximately 90% accurate, and in order to push 99% accuracy, the product incorporates a network of fifteen thousand human transcribers to correct errors and make any necessary revisions. These edits then flow back into the self-learning AI models, which work to improve Verbit’s machine learning algorithms over time.

“We chose Verbit because of the superior accuracy, turnaround time and cost they offered,” said George Michaels, Executive Director of Instructional Development & Interim Assistant Dean at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s been a definite game-changer for us.”

To learn more about Verbit, please visit: Verbit.ai.

The original article can be found here.

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How Can Schools Move In-Person Classes Online Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Scott Ready, Senior Customer Success & Accessibility Strategist at Verbit shares insights with our editorial team on how can schools move online amid the coronavirus situation.

1. How do edtech tools enhance an online learning environment?

Technology affords all disciplines the ability to deliver and learn through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous engagements. Starting with a Learning Management System (LMS) as the core educational technology, other tools provide the ability for instructors and students to achieve their learning objectives. The technology often provides enhanced learning experiences well above the traditional face-to-face delivery model by enabling review and engagement with the course content multiple times and in multiple ways.

2. How can schools use these tools to move in-person classes online amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

Schools can move content from offline to an online course setting with technology that provides students with access to learning without the need for a physical classroom. In the online environment, there are various tools that enable student-to-student, as well as student-to-instructor interactions. As a stop-gap measure amid the pandemic, this is a viable approach. As a longer-term solution, schools will want to consider a design stage where pedagogical practices for successful online delivery are applied. Some instructors are using web conferencing tools and holding meetings at the same time they were meeting in their classrooms. These web conferencing tools provide opportunities for lecture material and student interaction to take place in a live setting, while still meeting the need to be remote. As more planning takes place in light of this transition, one of the top considerations is how to ensure the learning environment is still accessible for students with disabilities. This consideration is often an afterthought, but it needs to be part of the initial plan. For example, providing transcripts of online lectures can make all the difference for students who are hard of hearing or deaf and must now learn remotely.

3. How do these e-learning tools help schools support students of all learning abilities?

Since students learn in various ways, digital tools can provide a variety of ways to engage with content. For example, some students prefer to read content, while others learn better if they are able to watch a video. Most students learn best when viewing video and reading are combined, allowing them to have a multimodal learning engagement. Digital learning tools also provide access for those with varying abilities. Captioning is an excellent example. Captioning not only meets the needs of students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, but it also meets the needs of a commuter who cannot play audio out loud and needs to read what is being said. It also helps the student having a difficult time understanding the accent of an instructor, as well as the international student who is learning in a language which is not native to them. These tools increase all students’ abilities to succeed academically.

4. How is Verbit working with these schools to provide live captioning (CART services) that integrates with their preferred web conferencing platforms?

Verbit has developed a live CART integration with Zoom, one of the leading web conferencing platforms in education. This integration provides students with the ability to have captions and a live transcript of everything that is said during a live lecture session or a meeting with a professor, providing greater access for all students. In instances when schools use another web conferencing platform, Verbit can still provide a live CART experience for the student. The only difference is that the captions or transcription will appear in a separate window opened on their computer.

Read the article on EdTechReview here.

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