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SpinVox receives $100m in third funding round

GLG, Goldman Sachs, and BlueMountain are first time investors in the ‘voice-to-screen’ messaging company.

London-based “voice-to-screen” messaging company SpinVox has completed a $100 million (€63 million) third round of funding thanks in part to first-time investors GLG Partners, BlueMountain Capital Management and Goldman Sachs.

The company has raised approximately £200 million ($401 million; €255 million) to date. Initial investors founder Peter Wood, founder of insurance companies Direct Line, eSure and Sheila’s Wheels, Charles Dunstone of Carphone Warehouse, and New York investment bank Allen & Company. Other institutional investors to date include ABN Amro, UK fund manager Gartmore and Toscafund Asset Management.

SpinVox is centered on voice conversion technology allowing speech to be converted into text for communications ranging from voicemail to blogging. The service is currently available in English, French, Spanish and German in seven countries.

“The simplicity is compelling,” said chief executive and co-founder Christina Domecq, adding that the climate is currently such that wireless carriers are clamoring for additional services.

The infusion of capital will be used to fund infrastructure development as SpinVox undergoes rapid expansion into new markets. The company will add language offerings in Italian, Portuguese and Arabic to expand into Latin America, the Middle East and Italy, according to Domecq.

Over the next 12 months, SpinVox will increase its carrier contracts from 12 to 24 and increase its customer base from 3 million to 20 million, Domecq says. Revenue, currently approximately £50 million per year, is experiencing four to five times growth annually.

The investment will also be used to continue funding speech technology improvements through the company’s recently launched research and development group in Cambridge, England.

Alternative asset managers GLG Partners and Blue Mountain Capital are both based in London. Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs manages alternative investments through Goldman Sachs Asset Management.