Total fundraising: $122 million
Employees: 150 employees (80 of whom are in Israel)
Founders: Tom Livne, Arik Shelef and Kobi Ben Zvi
Investors: Viola Ventures, STRIPES GROUP, Oryzn HV Ventures, Vertex, Clal Tech, Sapphire Ventures
When he worked as a lawyer, Tom Livne would spend long hours at the courts and at the office reading transcripts. Writing transcripts of minutes, lawsuits, testimonies, or legal affidavits requires a lot of time and money resources. The strenuous work was done manually and, combined with the time pressure, was, naturally, a recipe for mistakes, the kind that in the world of law can be critical.
This is what led Tom to realize that a technological solution for transcription that could be fast and reliable would be revolutionary not just in the legal field, but in many other fields such as academia, government and journalism. Along with Arik Shelef, a computer engineer and PhD in mathematics who was then the head of the speech recognition division at Intel and Kobi Ben Zvi who worked as an engineer, producing computer chips, founded Verbit — a transcription technology service which combines automatic transcription based on artificial intelligence and human analysis.
“The main challenge was to develop the algorithm in an optimal manner, so that it would work better than all of the competitors on the market,” Livne, the CEO, recalls. “When the algorithm was ready, it was presented to the biggest universities in the world and from the immediate feedback I understood that I hit the nail on the head,” he says, “there’s no doubt that when your product is being implemented at London Business School or Harvard University you feel justified in your intuition.”
To this day the young company has raised 122 million dollars in three funding rounds. Verbit’s strategy aims to acquire manual transcription companies with low profit margins (there are over 5,000 such companies in the world) and to move them to their customer base and the company’s platform, in order to generate significant business power in the market which is valued at around $30 billion a year.
As with many technology companies, Verbit likewise reports a huge boost which began this past year as a result of the pandemic — “the corona crisis moved all of the meetings, lectures and conferences online, and those trends significantly increased demand for the company’s technology.”