Following its most recent fundraising round, voice-driven artificial intelligence (AI) startup ElevenLabs joins the elite group of tech-sector unicorns.

The company disclosed on Monday, January 22nd, that its Series B funding round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz yielded around $80 million. Individual entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross helped spearhead the round which also included Sequoia Capital among the participants.

While ElevenLabs officials did not release details on the company’s total value, insiders say that it entered unicorn territory when it was valued at $1.1 billion during the round. This is quite a leap from its previous funding round in the past year when it was valued at just $100 million. 

This development is seen as proof that we may soon see a surge in the use of AI voice generation technologies, particularly in the fields of game development and cinematic production.

ElevenLabs CEO Mati Staniszewski has opined that we will be seeing a greater amount of AI, especially voice AI, in social media productions, as well as in mainstream media. However, he pointed out that its success hinges on ensuring that people are aware that the voices they hear are AI-generated. Staniszewski and his team staunchly believe that AI content needs to be detectable, as well as traceable.

What Exactly is ElevenLabs?

ElevenLabs is a London-based voice AI developer specializing in models and tools for the production of AI-generated voices that can speak with a variety of accents and emotions, as well as in different languages.

At present, its workforce stands at 40 employees working remotely throughout the world. Staniszewski hopes to expand the team to around 100 people by the end of this year.

The company’s current product lineup includes the AI Speech Classifier used to identify AI-generated voice content, as well as solutions for cinematic dubbing. It is in the process of developing an online marketplace that will let users generate voices using AI which they can license and market for themselves.

ElevenLabs technologies are also being used by campaign teams for this year’s US elections to reach constituents who use a different primary language from English.