London start-up SwiftKey, behind an alternative keyboard app for Android, has received £11.3 million in its latest funding round led by venture capital firm Index Ventures.
The Southwark-based firm announced yesterday that it will use the investment to drive innovation in natural language processing and machine learning, develop its text entry technology and create products in new areas.
SwiftKey’s technology - based on doctoral research from the University of Cambridge into artificial intelligence – corrects user’s typing and suggests words based on their previous vocabulary, unlike other technologies, which are based around a definitive list of words.
The app is one of the most popular apps on the Android platform, which has grown significantly since SwiftKey was first developed five years ago. Indeed, it spent more weeks as the number one paid for app on the Google Play store than any other app.
The money will also go towards expanding into North America, where it has an office in San Francisco, and Asia, where it has staff in Korea, Japan and China. Co-founder and CEO Jon Reynolds has said he will relocate to San Francisco to oversee the company’s US rollout.
SwiftKey’s technology is also licensed to several OEMs, including leading Android smartphone manufacturer Samsung.
The company previously received £2.5m in equity funding which has been used to help triple its team to over 100 staff in the last 12 months.
Index Ventures’ partner Martin Mignot said: “As a huge global commercial hit, SwiftKey’s world-beating technology and astonishing growth rate means the team is now perfectly positioned to take the US market by storm. We see every indication that they will succeed in a very big way.”