Posted on April 9, 2019 by staff

Irish lip reading tech firm gains six-figure investment


Belfast based start-up Liopa has announced a successful six-figure fundraising campaign.

Founded in 2015, the company created lip reading technology which uses artificial intelligence to decipher lip movements. It can be used through the front-facing camera of phones.

The tech start-up said interest in its developments resulted in it raising three times its funding target inside a four-week period.

The company has not disclosed the total raised on the SyndicateRoom crowdfunding website, but confirmed it was in the six figures and the backing has come from a number of so-called angel investors and the Fund Twenty8.

Liopa’s primary focus is improving the accuracy of voice driven applications such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.

The firm said its technology can determine speech by analysing the movement of a user’s lips as they speak into a camera. The technology can also be used to prevent “spoofing” and security issues in facial recognition systems.

Chief executive Liam McQuillan said the investment will allow Liopa to grow its engineering capability and AI talent.

“We’ll be able to accelerate the exciting developments we have planned in our roadmap, and protect our valuable intellectual property,” he said.

SyndicateRoom co-founder Tom Britton added: “It’s no wonder the technology being developed by Liopa is so incredible.

“The team behind it have spent a combined 50-plus man years researching or developing the technology.

“The applications for their platform are wide ranging, everything from helping law enforcement decipher what’s been said on CCTV footage to giving those who have lost their ability to vocalise a new way to easily communicate.”