For a young startup, it generally seems an ill-advised strategy to directly take on Amazon or Google. Moreover, when you are competing on the home assistants’ front, it is even more complicated. The home assistant front is a capital intensive, technically sophisticated future platform into which both technology giants have dumped substantial sums. Nonetheless, the small smart home startup Josh.ai, over the past few years, has attempted to do just that. It was capitalizing on public distrust of the platform’s big voice to sell an intelligent assistant to users wary of sticking Amazon or Google-owned microphones in their homes. Thus, the company has built its business to cater to customers seeking professionally installed pricey outfits in their homes. It costs upwards of $10,000 on the high end.
The company has now secured its most considerable funding round to date. It is an $11 million Series A round. Moreover, this is bringing the total fund of the startup to $22 million. Josh.ai’s spokesperson said that their investors have asked not to be named. Nevertheless, he confirmed that corporate investors led the round. Josh.ai’s approach feels familiar to people with Google Mini or an Echo Dot in their home.
Moreover, the platform is boasting several third-party integrations. Thus, you can use the platform to answer some simple commands, play music, turn on devices, and to switch off lights. Those are the bulk of the home-centric commands accessible on Alexa and Google Assistant.
The startup recently introduced Josh Micro. This is their take on the Echo Dot. It has a futurist vibe. Moreover, professionals install the hardware for you. Thus, users are privy to a sleek look with wires neatly tucked away inside walls. Alex Capelatro is the CEO. He said that their competitors, who have also been professionally installing equipment, have been pushing wall-mounted screens with UIs that often do not age well and are not updated. Capelatro is hoping that its more low-key and display-free devices will keep less focus on the hardware and will pay more attention to their software.
He said that their philosophy is that you should not be talking to what appears to be a puck. Thus, it should feel fully immersive. While working with them and leveraging their platforms, Capecelatro had initially seen that the best path to take was to exist alongside Amazon and Google. Nevertheless, he soon realized that not working with them proved to be the biggest asset for the startup.
Capelatro told TechCrunch that in terms of direction, in the past three years, the importance of privacy became apparent. This is because lots of their clients are people who care about their privacy. This is a part of almost every conversation.
Capelatro says that on the tech side, the platform of the startup is designed around its own natural language processing stack. Thus, most voice requests are processed locally. Nevertheless, the startup leverages technology built by Microsoft and Google to handle speech-to-text processes. Moreover, the company is using anonymized data to improve its services. Furthermore, to keep privacy-focused users satisfied, they included their take on a smart home incognito mode. The startup introduced specific features of this kind of software.
Let us see if the start-up will be successful.
- Trading Instrument