Founded by ex-Googlers – Zhifei Li and Mike Lei – in 2012, Mobvoi is a Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) company with independently developed technologies in Chinese language speech recognition, natural language processing and vertical mobile search. The mission of the Company is to define next generation of human-machine interaction through consumer products.
They are fast-paced, product-driven and technology-focused company, that focuses on AI voice-controlled software, quite similar to the mobile search in Google’s Android Products. Mobvoi was previously known for developing the first “fully” Chinese Smart Watch – TicWatch, which was launched in June this year, featuring TicWear which is the first Chinese Smart Watch Operating System.
“We used the Google model from day one,” Li told TechCrunch in, “We wanted to have same culture and team values. The co-operation [on bringing Android Wear to China] went really well… and [Google] showed interest and decided to make an investment,” he added.
Earlier it was reported that Google’s investment is somewhere in between $60-$65 Million, but it was recently updated to an undisclosed amount by Mobvoi. Any further possibility of Google buying the company was also denied. The fundraising amount will be used to hire better people to join the Mobvoi team, that doesn’t want to recognized as just a watch making company.
“We value this partnership a lot, and respect Google as an investor, [but it is] still a minority investor and we will focus on what we believe in and in our products,” Li further told TechCrunch, “We’re not changing what we’ve planned, but there are definitely more opportunities [that will open up].”