SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pulse Labs, a startup that helps brands understand how real people interact with their voice apps, announced $2.5 million in financing today. Led by Madrona Venture Group, the round included participation from the Amazon Alexa Fund, Bezos Expeditions, and Techstars Ventures.
“Voice is the next-generation user interface and the future of how humans will interact with technology,” said Maria Karaivanova, Principal, Madrona Venture Group. “When we met the Pulse team last year, we knew they were building something special. Their success in working with companies, brands and agencies prove there is a clear need to understand how real people interact with the ever increasing number of voice powered smart devices in their lives.” According to Canalys, there will be more than 56 million smart speakers sold in 2018.
“Developing apps for voice is a significantly different process than app development on other platforms – as our workflows and interactions shift away from more traditional platforms and mediums, consumers have different expectations regarding how an app responds, and designers will need to understand this change,” said Abhishek Suthan, co-founder and CEO. “We’re extremely happy to have the support of such a strong cohort of investors, and we’ll be leveraging their help to build a world class team and product for the leading voice services, starting with Alexa.”
Pulse Labs helps brands understand how real people interact with their voice apps through a rigorous process of live testing and data analysis. Using Pulse, voice app developers can quickly see how consumers want to interact with their app and get data on which prompts work and which don’t. The Pulse team has assisted in the successful launch of more than 20 Alexa skills for top brands. Pulse is extending their product to Google Actions in the coming months. There is currently a waiting list to use the Pulse platform.
“As one of the companies in the inaugural Alexa Accelerator class we are excited to make a follow-on investment in Pulse Labs as the company continues to innovate in the area of skill testing,” said Paul Bernard, Director of the Alexa Fund at Amazon. “With more than 30,000 Alexa skills out there today and many more in development, Pulse provides a great way for brands to understand user interaction and gain rich feedback to create engaging customer experiences.”
Digital agencies are already finding the power of the Pulse platform essential to the development of voice apps.
“We have been working with Alexa from the very beginning and are committed to helping our clients maximize opportunities around voice technology,” said Steven Hansen, CTO at RAIN. "As we continue to build some of the most successful skills, we have learned that one of the most critical steps in building for Alexa is to test the experience with a variety of real people. The Pulse platform enables our team to quickly iterate on user feedback and design a voice experience that delights consumers at launch."
“Voice-first interactions can be highly impactful, but they also have extremely low margin for error. When we're designing for a brand the experience needs to be smooth and successful for a huge variety of users with different intents,” commented Patrick Givens, vice president at VaynerMedia and head of VaynerSmart, Vayner’s digital arm. “The Pulse platform enables us to increase the speed and scale of our voice-first design and development, so we can ensure high quality but also move quickly.”
Abhishek Suthan, Dylan Zwick and Akansha Mehta founded Pulse Labs in early 2017 and quickly applied for the Alexa Accelerator Powered by Techstars, a program of the Alexa Fund. The team is steeped in secure software development and analytics – Suthan spent over five years developing software at Goldman Sachs, and Zwick built the data science team at Overstock.com. Akansha Mehta brings years of experience, from startup to enterprise, in global B2B sales leadership.
About Pulse Labs
Pulse Labs was formed in 2017 with a mission to create voice apps that humans understand. The company was part of the inaugural Alexa Accelerator Powered by Techstars, a program of the Alexa Fund. Pulse is backed by Madrona Venture Group, Amazon Alexa Fund, Bezos Expeditions, and Techstars Ventures.
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