Hi Auto Raised $4.5 Million in Seed Round

Photo above: Hi Auto Co-founders Roy Baharav (right) and Eyal Shapira

The Tel Aviv based Hi Auto is set to demonstrate innovative audio-visual commercial solution for speech recognition in harsh environments. The company has completed a $4.5 million seed round to fund the development of a novel noise reduction technique for improved speech recognition. The technology will be demonstrated at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

Read My Lips…

Hi Auto’s technology consists of a microphone positioned in front of the speaker, a camera that tracks the speaker’s lips movements and a deep learning software to eliminate the background noises. “Speech recognition is quickly becoming the method of choice to control devices,” said Roy Baharav, CEO and co-founder of Hi Auto. “But when used in noisy and multiple speaker environments, its reliability goes down dramatically.

“Our audio-visual approach is able to focus the detection on the speaker itself, and remove all the other noises.It will make speech recognition experience in the car and in other noisy environments more satisfying and enable OEMs to introduce complex and sensitive capabilities.”

Hi Auto was founded in February 2019 by the CEO Roy Baharav, the CTO Eyal Shapira and the initial investor Zohar Zisapel, who serves as the chairman of the company. Baharav spent a decade in the U.S., where he served in product management positions at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. Before, he had commanded an elite intelligence technology unit in IDF.

Intel Chose Hi Auto for its “Ignite” Accelerator

The CTO Eyal Shapira was awarded the Israel Defense Prize during his service in a technology unit of IDF. Later, he gave consulting services to companies such as Intel and Broadcom. Zohar Zisapel is one of Israel’s best-known hi-tech entrepreneurs and managers. Zisapel has helped to establish and is the chairman of prominent automotive startups, including Hailo, Argus and Innoviz.

Earlier this month, Hi Auto’s technology was acknowledged by Intel Corporation, who chose the company to join its newly established “Ignite” accelerator in Israel. The latest $4.5 million financing round was led by by the Israeli car importer Delek Motors and Hi Auto’s acting chairman Zohar Zisapel. Other investors were Allied Holdings, Singapore based Goldbell Group, and Plug & Play.