Transcription services provider Verbit raises pre-IPO funding at $2 bln valuation

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Nov 23 (Reuters) – Transcription and captioning services provider Verbit on Tuesday notched a valuation of about $2 billion by selling $150 million worth of new shares in a funding round led by Third Point Ventures.

The startup, which uses artificial intelligence to offer services such as live captioning and the real-time transcription of webinars and meetings, also allowed some employees and existing investors to sell $100 million of their own shares.

Other investors in the Series E round included Sapphire Ventures, More Capital, Disruptive AI, Vertex Growth, 40North, Samsung Next and TCP.

The financing is likely to be Verbit’s final fundraise before a potential initial public offering (IPO).

In an interview with Reuters, Verbit founder Tom Livne said the company plans to go public within the next 18 months, and that hedge fund Third Point has the same expectations.

“We have already started internal preparations,” said Livne, adding that Verbit will most likely take the traditional IPO route to go public.

The company has now raised $550 million from private investors since it was founded in 2017. Its valuation has nearly doubled since its June funding round.

Verbit said it intends to use the fresh capital to fund acquisitions and launch more products.

Its customers include companies such as online education provider Coursera (COUR.N) and video-streaming software company Kaltura (KLTR.O).

Verbit has benefited from strong demand for transcription and captioning services during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced businesses to operate remotely and host meetings online.

The company is set to generate more than $100 million in revenue this year, up five times from last year, Livne said.

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