Ai-Media, led by former Foxtel and Austar exec Deanne Weir, begins US expansion
Ai-Media, a global provider of technology-enabled live and recorded captioning, transcription and translation services, has announced the acquisition of US captioning services company Alternative Communications Services (ACS) to accelerate its growth in the North American market.
The acquisition follows the recent completion of Ai-Media’s latest fundraising round, which attracted A$10.3 million (US$6.6 million) from new and existing investors, including CVC Emerging Companies Fund and US-based technology investor Anzu Partners.
Funds from the latest investment round, which take total capital raised by Ai-Media to more than A$20 million, will be used to help fund the ACS acquisition and accelerate Ai-Media’s international expansion through organic growth and other carefully selected strategic acquisitions.
Ai-Media’s unique technology platform uses a combination of human and artificial intelligence to provide highly accurate, low-cost captioning for more than 2 million minutes of live and recorded video and events every month. Its customers span major Australian and international broadcasters, multinational corporations, government and non-government bodies and tertiary institutions.
In January 2020, Ai-Media provided 153 hours of live captioning for every session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with live, simultaneous translations into six languages. In addition, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ai-Media has provided live accurate captions and transcripts for thousands of Zoom meetings in multiple languages.
In the past three years, the proportion of Ai-Media’s revenue generated outside of Australia has risen from approximately 5 per cent to more than 25 per cent, with the company confident this will pass 50 per cent by 2021-22.
Chicago-based ACS is one of the leading providers of voice-to-text captioning and sign language services in North America, with more than 800 customers, including Dow Jones, Verizon, the US Federal Reserve and the Detroit Lions football team. Co-founded in 2007 by Chief Executive Officer and owner Phil Hyssong, ACS has developed a reputation for high- quality service delivery.
Ai-Media Chair Deanne Weir said the company was delighted with the calibre of new and existing investors who backed the board’s vision to build a global leader in captioning, transcription and translation services.
“With the support of our investors, we will have the ability to maximise opportunities to expand in new regions and in fast-growing industry sectors, such as the provision of live captioning and translation services for corporate, government and education events,” Weir said.
“There are a number of tailwinds that support Ai-Media’s ambition to build a global business that delivers on our vision of making the world's content accessible, one word at a time."