Making voice-over easy: This Delhi-NCR startup is empowering content creators to produce audio content in minutes
Anant Tripathi, Chakrapani Mishra, and Diwakar Chopra believed voice-to-text and vice-versa would be imperative in the content creation world. This need had become more prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Anant is an IIT Kharagpur alum, Chakrapani is an IIT Bombay alum, and Diwakar graduated from Purdue University, US. Friends since their college days, the trio decided to start Speechmax in mid-2020. The Delhi-NCR startup generates free voice-overs in Hindi and English for content creators.
Unlike other text-to-speech platforms, where the voice-overs sound robotic, all voices insounds natural and human-like.
Leveraging AI and Natural Language Processing, Speechmax helps in generating very realistic instant voice-overs, which can be used in a variety of content, including audiobooks, documentaries, videos, etc.
Founders of Speechmax
What does the startup do?
Speechmax takes away the hassle of making a voice-over by cutting through the traditional journey from a few days to a few minutes, Anant explains.
On Speechmax’s platform, content creators — with a few clicks — can convert a script to studio-quality human-like voice over. The startup helps creators reduce time and content costs while maintaining the production quality.
“The voices on Speechmax are AI avatars of professional voice-over artists in different languages and voice-over styles. Video and audio content creators use our platform to create voice-overs in their chosen script and style,” says Anant.
A typical voice-over generation platform becomes popular on the variety of voices and narration styles it provides. Currently, Speechmax has three voice artists with different voice-over styles.
Users can select an artist, the style, and provide a script, which is converted into audio in a few seconds. They can further refine the generated audio using an audio editor, and the final audio file can be exported in an MP3 format.
In fact, they can create video content for digital consumption as most of them host their creations on social media. “Soon, we will add new voices, vernacular and foreign languages to make Speechmax a global platform to cater to voice-over requirements,” says Anant.
“We want to power the content creators. We follow a freemium strategy of monetisation. You can try out Speechmax for free and even download the audio for any use,” he adds.
However, it was not all smooth sailing for the startup.
Building proprietary tech
Audio generation using a machine — traditionally called text-to-speech — has been in existence for a long time. But the quality of machine-generated audio was always below par.
“Speechmax has changed the game. The startup’s proprietary technology deploys cutting-edge AI that not only generates natural human-like speech but can also closely mimic prosody. That’s why the voice-over made on Speechmax feels so natural,” Anant explains.
The startup hit a jackpot when its proprietary AI models produced audio virtually indistinguishable from real human-recorded one.
“We developed the technology in the middle of the pandemic, which fundamentally shifted people’s lives to go for digital content creation and catapulted the demand for our product,” Anant says.
He adds, “More and more content creators use digital solutions for production. Our technology perfectly enables content creators and enterprises looking for a solution to create voice-overs at scale.”
At present, Speechmax has 10 members in its team.
Market and future
According to a Markets and Markets report, the text-to-speech market was valued at $2 billion in 2020, estimated to reach $5 billion by 2026. The segment will see a CAGR of 14.6 percent between 2020 and 2026.
The Delhi-NCR startup competes with platforms, including Otter.AI, SoundHound, and Gnani.AI, among others.
Bootstrapped since its inception, Speechmax will soon be rolling out in other vernacular languages.
“We wish to extend our reach to more geographies as we further develop the product. Our plans also include adding foreign languages. We also want to create a marketplace of voice-over artists on Speechmax. Our vision for Speechmax is to make it a one-stop solution when it comes to voice over requirements,” says Anant.
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