DOHA, QATAR: Qatar First Bank (QFB) has agreed to invest in SoundHound Inc., a US late-stage tech company specialized in voice AI.
SoundHound Inc.’s headquarters are in Silicon Valley, California, in the USA. The investment is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
SoundHound’s independent voice AI platform, built on proprietary natural language technology, enables businesses to deliver best-in-class conversational experiences to their customers across 22 languages. Voice
AI is projected to be a $160 billion market opportunity and SoundHound (www.soundhound.com) is at the forefront of helping brands build differentiated, voice-enabled experiences that grow customer loyalty and deliver value.
As a late-stage venture company, SoundHound has a strong backlog from existing customers, which include well-known car manufacturers, home appliance manufacturers, and telecom companies, among others.
The investment will be QFB’s first investment in the United States tech market and comes as a significant addition to the Bank’s robust presence in the US market.
The investment by a local Qatari investment bank in a Silicon Valley company also presents a unique opportunity for local investors and opens up new avenues for cooperation and bilateral investment between both markets.
Commenting on the investment, Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al-Thani, Chairman of QFB, said: “This landmark investment is a bold new step by QFB to enter the AI technology investment field. We believe SoundHound has great potential for growth, especially after its prospective listing in the United States early next year.
With its revolutionary AI offering and expertise in the voice AI market, we consider this opportunity a great benefit to our local investors. With the abundance of opportunities it offers, and its robust expertise and expansion impetus, we are happy to be an investor in SoundHound as it moves forward toward the next phase of its growth momentum.”
Mr. Abdulrahman Totonji, QFB’s CEO added: “This is a historic addition to QFB’s unique offering to its elite clientele and an excellent investment opportunity. It is a continuation of our ambitious plan to cater to the growing demand of local investors through our Shari’ah compliant platform.
In our efforts to scope opportunities in the US market, this opportunity has proven a suitable candidate for investment, satisfying all our key criteria we look for in technology-based firms. With this investment secured, we at QFB are working on new projects with abundant enthusiasm and excitement, as this unique investment opens up new opportunities for both our firms and our clients.”
This investment opportunity, which has been approved by QFB’s Shari’ah Supervisory Board, is offered on private placement basis to qualified investors meeting the investment eligibility requirements in accordance with the rules and regulatory requirements of QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA).
Qatar First Bank (QFB), the first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE: QFBQ)