Speech recognition startup wins Metlife Singapore event

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LumenLab, MetLife’s Singapore-based innovation center, this evening announced Uniphore as the winner of its inaugural corporate-startup engagement program, collab, following the demo day which took place today in Singapore.

In addition to the overall winner, two outstanding projects, Democrance and Flamingo received the “President’s Selection” award.

collab launched in November 2016, attracted over 135 applications from 34 countries worldwide. Based on known challenges in the areas of customer engagement, sales process, operations, and new business model, 8 finalists competed to be the overall winner and receive a US$100,000 contract to implement their solution in MetLife.

“This competition brought out some of the best start-ups in the insurtech space. We believe that innovation platforms such as collab are key in identifying implementable solutions to better meet the changing needs of our customers,” said Chris Townsend, President, MetLife Asia. “We congratulate all of the finalists, and in particular Uniphore on winning this competition.”

Uniphore, founded in 2009 and with offices in India and Singapore is a speech recognition solutions company. Their solutions extend the power of speech to revolutionise human-machine interaction. This allows any software application to understand and respond to natural human speech, and facilitates both customer engagement and loyalty build. Uniphore has worked with over 70 enterprise customers and served over 4 million users.

During the demo day event, the finalists presented their business ideas to 9 senior MetLife executives. The finalists were allotted 30 minutes to make their pitch and evaluated on their fit to problem statements and the quality of their solutions. Other points of consideration were product differentiation, team experience, and the completeness of their implementation plan.

The 8 start-up finalists were Capabiliti, Democrance, Digital Fineprint, Flamingo, Good Parents, Shift Technology, Sureify, and Uniphore. The broad range of solutions showcased included artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics and wearables for kids. The finalists received coaching and training from Oliver Wyman, PwC’s venture hub in Singapore, and Velocity (ACP’s accelerator arm).

“The pitches from all our finalists were impressive, which made our job of selecting an overall winner very difficult,” said Zia Zaman, LumenLab CEO and Chief Innovation Officer of MetLife Asia. “Each finalist presented something exciting and ground breaking. The “open innovation” construct, combined with access to “champions” from across the business made for a mutually beneficial experience. We’re excited to work with Uniphore, Democrance, and Flamingo over the coming months to bring their solutions to life at MetLife and have them benefit from our business scale.”