Puma Private Equity leads $7m investment into voice isolation specialist, IRIS
Puma Private Equity has completed an investment into IRIS Audio Technologies (IRIS Audio) as part of a Series A funding round alongside existing investors. The UK-headquartered company will use the investment to drive adoption of its IRIS Clarity solution globally and in particular North America, where it sees a huge opportunity.
The investment round, led by Puma Private Equity, is IRIS Audio’s first institutional investment to date. Existing investors the Ojjeh family, TAG Group, and Toby Brzoznowski also participated in the round. Brzoznowski, who co-founded LLamasoft and subsequently grew it to a successful $1.5bn acquisition in 2020, has both invested and joined the business as EVP Americas to tap into the huge growth potential in the region and drive its rapid growth.
IRIS Audio is a cutting-edge audio technology company with a suite of patented products that leverages decades of research into the effects of sound on the brain. Its flagship product, IRIS Clarity, uses the most advanced AI to remove background noise from calls, shortening Average Handling Time (AHT) by up to 11%, reducing sound-proofing costs by more than 50%, eliminating noise-related complaints from both customers and agents by 98%, and improving transcription accuracy — and thereby speech analytics — by more than 10%.
By powering better connections and engagement between people across multiple sectors including call centres, public sector and motor racing, IRIS Clarity improves business performance, customer experience, and agent wellbeing. With a mission to enable the world to ‘Listen Well’, IRIS Audio’s Software-as-a-Service solutions have been developed in partnership with Goldsmiths University and Mount Sinai university hospital, using research on the neurological effects of audio stimuli to develop technology that’s proven to stimulate the brain and enable Active Listening™.
“As organisations from public services to motor racing and call centres become ever more virtual in how they communicate, our mission is to make critical communications clearer, more effective and less taxing by eradicating background noise. We want to help contact centre staff deliver more resolutions and motorsports teams win more races through higher quality digital communications. This funding round is a significant step in enabling that.”
Harriet Rosethorn, Investment Director at Puma Private Equity, added:
“We’re hugely excited to be partnering with IRIS Audio Technologies, a business that we believe has huge capacity to scale. IRIS Audio’s unique technology has already proven to have demonstrable benefits to the contact centres it serves and the breadth of use cases for its technology gives it a significant addressable market. The company benefits from a truly exceptional leadership team, and we’re excited to be part of the journey.”
Toby Brzoznowski concluded:
“While many tech sectors are currently experiencing challenges in the market and in raising capital, IRIS Audio Technologies’ growth and momentum really stands out. Noise is a universal problem across all forms of communication, and IRIS Audio’s breakthrough technology can add value to so many sectors including call centres, speech analytics, and broadcast media. The US call centre industry alone is currently valued at $27.2 billion. This is why I not only invested in the company but also joined it last year. This funding will help accelerate our already impressive growth and position IRIS Audio as a market leader.”
IRIS Clarity is IRIS Audio’s flagship product, an AI-powered software solution built specifically for call centres that removes distracting background noise from VoIP and customer calls. Its bi-directional nature ensures IRIS Clarity increases both customer satisfaction and employee wellbeing, speeding up resolution times and reducing employee churn – both currently major challenges in the contact centre industry.
About IRIS Audio Technologies
IRIS Audio Technologies is an audio technology company with a mission to enable the world to Listen Well. Our suite of patented products leverages decades of research into the effects of sound on the brain, prioritising focus, productivity, and wellness for all. By harnessing the science of sound, IRIS Audio dramatically improves how people experience audio across all digital platforms, from video meetings to streaming, podcasts to audiobooks.
About Puma Private Equity
Puma Private Equity is a leading provider of growth capital to SMEs across all sectors and regions of the UK, delivering investments between £2 million to £10 million. Puma Private Equity takes a highly active approach to value creation, partnering with management teams to help drive up equity value through expansion and professionalisation.