This AI-based language solution startup is helping businesses boost customer engagement, create unique UX
In an ever-globalising world, businesses need to ensure their content bridges language gaps and resonates with end-users.
This is where content localisation – the process of adapting content produced for primary audience to suit a secondary target consumer base – comes into play. Singapore-basedsays it leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to build full-stack language solutions for businesses to widen their user base.
Audio and video content takes several hours to create. Wavel helps companies repurpose this content to expand business opportunities.
Founded by Abhinav Yadav and Narasimha Suda in 2019, speech-to-text platform Wavel localises audio/video content into Hindi, English and Spanish.
“Our core mission is localising audio/video content to drive performance, boost customer engagement and create a unique user experience,” Abhinav tells YourStory.
The founders, who have known each other since the past 15 years and have studied together, initially pursued careers in academics before beginning their entrepreneurial journeys.
Stumbling upon an opportunity
Wavel happened when both the co-founders were trying to solve different problems in Voice AI (artificial intelligence). Narasimha was developing a solution around Voice AI to generate records of Doctor Patient interaction, while Abhinav was venturing into other AI applications in content space. The duo worked together on a product led approach to find gaps in the market.
“A lot was being lost in translation, where Voice AI could help. That's when we realised the intensity of the opportunity,” Abhinav says.
“A major pivot happened when we were running our solution with the medical centres at NUS (National University of Singapore). I managed to have a meeting with the Director of Instructional Design who saw the solution and proposed to use it for content localisation which was a big hassle for them to manage. We got our first 5 digit USD contract within 24 hours with a mockup solution and rest is past,” he adds.
With a team size of 11-50 employees, Abhinav takes care of sales, marketing, finance at Wavel while Narasimha looks after product, AI and operations.
What does the startup do?
Wavel AI is one of the most powerful AI responsible for delivering content performance and accessibility, claims Abhinav.
Once the user uploads the file Wavel uses the best of two worlds -- Wavel AI and human editor work in tandem to make sure the transcription is 99 percent accurate and provide powerful collaboration tools.
Abhinav says, “End users get full visibility of the process without worrying about quality, turnaround time and managing the files.”
Currently providing transcription and translation services, it has also developed a system through which they can deploy any tier I languages –English, Hindi, Mandarin, Spanish, German etc. – in 14 days.
“With many universities taking on international students, subtitle translation can be instrumental in ensuring full content accessibility for all learners. Whether you prefer to have subtitles in which your viewers can choose their target language or subtitles that display permanently, we can help,” adds Abhinav.
“Our turnaround is 24 hours, but we have been delivering maximum requirements within 12 hours, which is 8x better than industry average,” highlights Abhinav.
Currently, the platform is working on voice-over and dubbing.
It aims to provide custom AI voices to freely experiment with vocal performances throughout extended production processes.
“Wavel AI is working towards creating automatic custom voices from the content source user uploads and enable it to playback in other languages through our neural text to speech engine. You can localise content by either recording or uploading audio files in your native language. Our powerful AI tool ensures that every character’s voice is consistent when dubbed into various languages across movies, meetings, audiobooks, etc,” he adds.
It operates as a B2B (business-to-business) model, with an annual subscription model based on volume of content to be localised.
“We do provide 15-minute free credits on our platform to experience the quality and ease of our solution. We have not disclosed pricing right now. But we are cheaper by 50 percent from industry average,” adds Abhinav.
Market size and traction
Currently, the video localisation and language solutions market is more than $70 billion globally, growing at 11 percent YoY (year-on-year) due to the adoption of video content amid the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wavel says it has customers across eight countries.
“More than 50 B2B (business-to-business) clients spread across the USA, India, Singapore and other 5 countries including unicorns and MNCs ,” claims Abhinav.
Some notable names include Byju's, Emeritus, and Great Learning, among others.
With the first year ARR (annual recurring revenue) at $50,000, the startup has grown to 9X with FY22 at $900,000.
Speaking about future plans, Abhinav adds that the startup plans to hit $10 million ARR in the next 2 years.
“We are making Wavel as a one stop solution for video localisation. We will be leveraging AI to generate more value from the content and benefit the enterprises. In terms of growth we will be focusing on both organic and inorganic modes to make our solution reach and benefit the potential markets,” he adds.
The startup has so far raised $450,000 from Entrepreneur First (backed by Reid Hoffman) along with a syndicate of Angels (Including Exec from Mckinsey and Philips).
Some of the players operating in this space include Verbit.ai, Rev.com, Descript.com, transcribeme, 3playmedia.
Wavel says it stands out in the market because current players are either manual or have a general solution for video localisation needs.
“We focus on high-value content videos in e-learning and generate value through our software,” Abhinav signs off.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti