Voice assistant maker SoundHound to go public via $2 bln SPAC deal

Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam shakes hands with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto after delivering a speech to the media, during an official welcoming ceremony, at the National Palace in Mexico City
REUTERS/Henry Romero

Nov 16 (Reuters) - SoundHound Inc will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal that values the voice assistant maker at $2.1 billion, the companies said on Tuesday.

The deal with Archimedes Tech SPAC Partners Co (ATSPU.O) will provide SoundHound with proceeds of $244 million, consisting of a $111 million private placement in public equity and about $133 million from the special purpose acquisition company's (SPAC) IPO, assuming no redemptions.

Founded in 2005 by a group of Stanford graduates, the company has developed a voice artificial intelligence platform to help businesses integrate conversational voice assistants into their products. The company counts Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS), Mercedes-Benz, Mastercard (MA.N) and Snap (SNAP.N) among its customers.

Enterprise software firm Oracle Corp (ORCL.N), Koch Industries, MKaNN Ventures and others participated in the private investment in public equity (PIPE) round.

The Santa Clara, California-based company said its technology is available in 22 languages, with further additions planned in the near future. It also offers clients with tools to analyze customer usage and behavior, which they can then use to improve the voice experience for their products.

SoundHound intends to use the funds raised in the round to expand its platform and enter new markets globally.

After the deal closes, expected towards the first quarter of 2022, SoundHound will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "SOUN".

Reporting by Manya Saini and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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