This SaaS startup is breaking language barriers by dubbing video content in real-time
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online video content consumption across languages has increased, creating a need for TV shows and movies to be dubbed across different languages.
With the rise of the creator economy—content creators, influencers, bloggers, etc., the future seems to be ‘dubbing on the go’, where a single click converts videos into several other languages.
Spotting the need for dubbed content, Varshul Gupta, who had earlier founded an algorithm creation firm, launched the Software as a Service (SaaS) platformto provide real-time dubbing in 2021.
Varshul joined hands with Anuja Dhawan, an old colleague and friend, who was working with Freshworks at the time, to start the platform. Anuja was earlier mentoring Varshul for go-to-market (GTM) strategy, and decided to join Dubverse.ai full time in October 2021.
“Varshul’s idea seemed really interesting to me, and since I was already helping the team, I thought it would be an interesting switch for me as well,” says Anuja, Co-founder, Dubverse.ai, in an interaction with YourStory.
While Varshul takes care of the technology and engineering part of the firm, Anuja focuses on creating the product and marketing it.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered SaaS startup currently converts audio from English to over 30 languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, and Bengali.
“As of now, our platform is very popular for teaching content. This could be for an edtech platform or corporates who want to distribute informative content to their audience,” says Varshul.
The voices on Dubverse.ai are created after recording one hour of voice content. The in-built AI is then able to understand the patterns and mimic the voice and the tone further.
Incidentally, Anuja was the first person to lend her voice to this experiment.
Run by Lensmatic Solutions Pvt Ltd., the platform is relatively easy to use. Presented as Canva for real-time voice dubbing, users can either upload or share the video link on the platform. Using speech-to-text, Dubverse.ai then translates the video from English to Hindi or any other regional language. Users can also select the kind of tones from at least six options, which includes a teacher’s voice or an explanatory voice.
All this happens in real-time for videos, which are under 30 minutes.
“The idea is to reduce the time people take in getting anything translated into other languages and also the voice needs to match the context of the video,” says Anuja.
Speaking about challenges, the team says, developing new voices and for a longer duration in different expressions is a challenge. Currently, most of the challenges are coming from the product development side.
The firm is now catering to over 200 users across India and also has a presence across five countries in the European Union, translating Spanish, French, and Mandarin, among other international languages.
The business and plans ahead
The startup, which was started with an investment of Rs 15-20 lakh, is now experimenting with a freemium model by providing certain services for free and charging for other advanced services. While Dubverse has paid users, it refused to reveal the numbers as the freemium model is still in the experimentation stage.
In June this year, Dubverse.ai raised $800,000 in a seed round from Kalaari Capital. The startup said it will use the funds to develop its product further, where videos can be dubbed in multiple languages.
In the coming months, Dubverse.ai wants to keep improving its product, where it could mimic a single person’s voice in multiple languages, while not sounding “too robotic”.
Anuja says, “When you seead campaign, there is Shahrukh Khan advertising the product. But if we could create a technology, which can mimic his voice, then his voice could also be used for the lessons.”
As of now, Dubverse.ai, which does not see much competition in India, is working with Vyapar, a billing platform for small businesses; Ultratech cement; and Lead School.