The Future of Accessibility Just Got Much Brighter

Inclusion and access are at the heart of Ava’s new $10 million Series A fundraising, pushing innovation for its live captions for in-person and online conversations.

With its Series A fundraising round, Ava plans to expand its live captions offering for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people — making it easier for accessibility managers at companies, learning institutions, and healthcare facilities to provide communication access for their organizations (see Ava’s Series A Funding press release).

Led by Khosla Ventures with participation from Initialized Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, LeFonds VC, Ring Capital, and Sorenson’s Enable Ventures, Ava will push forward to focus on the specific needs of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the workforce, at school, in hospitals, and during their day-to-day activities.

Ava is quickly becoming synonymous with highly accurate live captions and transcriptions — and was recently used on the set of Academy Award-winning movie, CODA. Ava CEO and co-founder, Thibault Duchemin, is himself a CODA (child of deaf adults).

Image of Thibault Duchemin on stage making a speech wearing a blue Tshirt with the Ava "&" logo on the font of it.

Image Source: Boma France | Thibault Duchemin

Duchemin experienced first-hand his family’s struggles with daily inaccessibility and exclusion from important information. It drove him to create Ava and break down communication barriers between the Deaf and hearing worlds. Just as CODA is establishing authentic Deaf representation in media, Ava is pushing Duchemin’s dream to ensure “Deaf and hard-of-hearing people have access to the same information as everyone else.”

Deaf co-founder and CTO, Skinner Cheng, lives and breathes Ava and makes sure it provides accessibility in multiple situations — understanding full well that not all Deaf and hard-of-hearing people understand or are proficient in sign language, and not many hearing people know sign language.

With Ava, “I don’t have to ask for anyone to accommodate me, AND I get to see exactly who is saying what, which can be difficult when multiple people are speaking,” says Cheng. “Even more, I feel comforted to know that with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), it’s my right to have that kind of access.”

Image of Ava's co-Founder Skinner Cheng smiling at someone speaking into a phone using the Ava application.

Image Source: University of San Francisco|Skinner Cheng

Ava will use the new funding to expand its product offerings to provide affordable, live captions available 24/7 with 99% accuracy. By doubling its US and European teams, it will not only improve all of Ava’s services but make it much easier for accessibility managers from organizations and universities to adopt.

Ava delivers its services anywhere someone would need captioning, anytime. Its core products include Ava Closed Captions, a web and desktop app that enables users to read real-time closed captions layered on top of any online meeting or video they’re playing, even full-screen; Ava App, an iOS and Android mobile app that captions live conversations as well as videoconferencing, video streams, podcasting and more; and Ava Scribe, a real-time, professional-grade captioning service that combines machine and human intelligence, available on all platforms. As Ava’s AI transcribes speech, a human edits the transcribed words, which is highly accurate, twice as fast, and much more economical than traditional real-time captioning providers. With Ava, users can participate in conversations in real-time without skipping a beat.

Image of Ava's "&" logo against a blue background. At the top is the text "Microsoft Store App Awards 2023 Special Recognition Winner" and below Ava's logo is the text "Ava CC".

That’s why Ava has grabbed the attention of top universities and Fortune 500 companies with customers including Autodesk, Nokia, Compass Health, Air France, Shell, the State of California, the USDA, George Washington University, UCLA, the University of Toronto, SUNY, and major school districts across the U.S. and Europe. Ava is also showing up in major retail stores and will soon announce a major partnership.

Ava was recently covered in major news outlets:

Ava is an unstoppable force revolutionizing the $30B real-time communication access and transcription market to provide access, inclusion, and equitable experiences.

See also Ava’s Series A Funding press release

Be part of the mission to provide access for 450 million Deaf and hard-of-hearing people worldwide, join the Ava team.