Ava’s technology helps the 450M+ deaf and hard-of-hearing people across the globe participate in daily life with on-demand captions for in-person and virtual conversations.

May 3, 2022 – San Francisco, CAAva, the leading live-captioning solution for accessibility, today announced $10 million in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to $16.5 million. The round was led by Khosla Ventures with participation from Initialized Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, LeFonds VC, Ring Capital. Sorenson’s Enable Ventures, a fund by the founder of the leading interpreting and video relay services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, has also joined the round.

Ava’s core products include Ava Closed Captions, a web and desktop app that enables users to see real-time closed captions layered on top of any online meeting or video they’re playing, even full-screen; Ava App, an iOS and Android real-time mobile app that captions live conversations as well as videoconferencing, video streams, podcasting and more; and Ava Scribe, a real-time, professional-grade captioning service that combines machine and human intelligence, available on all platforms. As Ava’s AI transcribes speech, a human edits the transcribed words, which is highly accurate, twice as fast, and much more economical than traditional providers.

With this new capital, Ava will expand its product offerings to further its mission to create a fully accessible world and revolutionize the $20 billion real-time communication access and transcription market. Ava plans to do this by providing affordable live closed captioning available 24/7 with 99% accuracy, doubling its US and France-based team, and making it much easier for accessibility managers from organizations and universities to provide communication access for deaf and hard-of-hearing people’s needs.

Ava’s CEO Thibault Duchemin, who grew up as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), said: “My entire life has revolved around ensuring deaf and hard-of-hearing people have access to the same information as everyone else. This started when I was 5 years old, helping my deaf parents and sister; with Ava, I’ve had the opportunity to help millions more. We’re very excited to leverage this new funding to continue Ava’s mission to create a fully accessible world.”

Profound gaps exist between deaf and hearing people in graduation rates, employment compensation, and communication in daily life. Communication has become more difficult in the aftermath of the pandemic, as more of our professional, education and personal communications become virtual. Ava’s products are designed to bridge communication barriers between the deaf and hearing worlds.

Ava provides true accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing people by showing them who says what—enabling them to participate in the conversation in real-time. The patented technology identifies different speakers in its captions, listens to multiple people simultaneously, and instantly displays written captions to users. The speech algorithms are able to translate spoken sentences into words in less than one second.

Sven Strohband, Managing Director at Khosla Ventures, added: “Ava is an important tool for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. We are certainly impressed by what the team has built so far and believe that Ava will continue to win the real-time communication access and transcription market as its product continues to mature.”

Ava has grabbed the attention of top universities and Fortune 500 companies with customers including Nokia, Autodesk, Air France, the State of California, the USDA, George Washington University, UCLA and major school districts across the U.S, which are utilizing Ava’s unique combination of AI-powered speech recognition technology and live captioners. Ava’s machine and human intelligence hybrid approach with Scribe enables Ava’s customers to quickly and affordably meet the increasing demand for highly accurate captioning services, since traditional solutions typically cost at least twice as much as Ava.

Ava App, Ava CC and Ava Scribe are available now via the company’s website, https://www.ava.me.

About Ava

Ava’s software helps the 450M+ deaf and hard-of-hearing people across the globe participate in daily life with on-demand captions for in-person and virtual conversations. Ava’s technology is the first built for group conversations to label speakers clearly and accurately in real-time. Based in San Francisco, the company was founded by Thibault Duchemin who grew up as the only hearing person in his deaf family and whose mission it is to bridge the communication gaps he has experienced his whole life. For more information, visit http://www.ava.me.

Become part of the mission to provide access for 450 million Deaf and hard-of-hearing people worldwide, join the Ava team.


Jacqui Wimberly, Day One Ventures