2022 Speech Industry Award Winner: Verbit Acquires the Top Spot in Transcription
Verbit, an Israeli company, provides artificial intelligence-powered captioning, transcription, translation, and audio description technology and services backed by humans for added accuracy.
The company was on a financial tear this year, raising $250 million in funding near the close of 2021 to expand its global presence and further its strategy to build vertically integrated voice artificial intelligence solutions. The company has raised roughly $570 million in five funding rounds since its founding in 2017.
“Verbit is a special company combining exceptional technology-driven organic and inorganic growth in the transcription marketplace,” said Robert Schwartz, managing partner of Third Point Ventures, the leading investor in the latest round, in a statement. “Verbit’s exceptionally talented team has achieved scale and leadership in an incredibly short time.”
But the funding didn’t languish in Verbit’s coffers for too long. Within six months after the funding round closed, Verbit made four key acquisitions that expanded its geographic footprint as well as the number of market verticals it serves.
Its most recent acquisition was Take 1, a British transcription, access, and localization provider for global media and entertainment companies such as ITV America, NPR, and Warner Bros. Discovery. That announcement came at the end of July and further propelled Verbit into the media and entertainment sector.
Verbit really gained a foothold in the media and entertainment industries a few months earlier through its acquisition of U.S. Captioning, a provider of real-time and postproduction TV closed captioning services, in May.
Just two months before the U.S. Captioning deal, in March, Verbit had acquired Take Note, a United Kingdom-based provider of transcription, captioning, and note-taking services for the market research sector. That deal furthered the company’s global expansion efforts and marked its entrance into yet another new vertical.
And in late December, Verbit acquired Automatic Sync Technologies, providers of a transcription solution for the education and government sectors, accelerating its penetration into those markets.
Verbit also secured its position in the education sector through a partnership with Kaltura, bringing captioning and searchable video capabilities to Kaltura’s customers in education and corporate settings. The deal was significant as COVID-19 drove such a massive shift to virtual events, online learning, and remote work, dramatically increasing the need for transcription and captioning.
The company’s U.S. expansion had really begun in May 2021 when it acquired VITAC, the largest provider of captioning products and solutions in North America, making Verbit the top player in the professional transcription and captioning market across legal, media, education, government, and corporate sectors.
“We’re delighted to join the Verbit family and bolster their leading position in the transcription industry globally,” said Chris Crowell, CEO of VITAC, in a statement at the time. “We’ve been incredibly impressed with Verbit’s rapid growth and technology advantages.”
The company, which is reportedly close to going public with a pending Wall Street debut, now has its sights set on other global markets, particularly in Europe. The company is closely watching the markets in Germany, France, and Spain, where Verbit says it has seen a substantial amount of inbound interest.