Hong Kong-Based Language AI Firm Fano Labs Wraps Up Series B Funding Round

Hong Kong-based Language AI Company Fano Labs Series B

Language AI company Fano Labs announced on May 2, 2024, that it had successfully completed a Series B funding round. 

While the company declined to share profitability metrics or specific figures related to the Series B, past investments in Fano Labs, which is based in Hong Kong, have included an undisclosed amount from billionaire Li Ka-shing in 2022. This is in addition to “tens of millions of dollars,” per Fano Labs’ website, from investments such as Horizons Ventures and the AEF Greater Bay Area Fund (managed by Gobi Partners GBA). 

Openspace Ventures led the most recent investment round, with participation from HSBC, Greater Good Investment, the family office of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Lo, and existing shareholders, according to a press release.

Fano Labs was founded in 2015 as a spin-off from the University of Hong Kong, and its academic roots are still evident. The company’s Co-founder and Chairman, Victor Li, is also HKU’s Chair Professor in Information Engineering, while Co-founder and current CEO Dr. Miles Wen has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at HKU since 2016. 

“We tackle fundamental issues with traditional speech recognition tools, which do not operate effectively in multilingual environments like Singapore and other regions in Asia — where speakers switch between different languages in a conversation and have localized dialects or accents,” Wen told Slator.

Fano Labs’ flagship product is Callinter, which uses AI technology to automatically analyze audio recordings. The system is used in both the private and public sectors, including government, telecom, and financial services, to flag potential risk and compliance issues for professionals to investigate further. 

Wen added, “Our speech engine can automatically detect the languages used, and differentiate all speakers in any conversation. With these techniques, clients can achieve over 90% accuracy with their solutions, which makes Fano Labs one of the world’s most accurate language AI engine providers.”

The product currently supports Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, French, and regional variants of English and Malay. 

Funds raised in the Series B will see Fano Labs through its foray into the wider APAC region, namely the opening of a new office in Singapore. In 2024, the company also plans to develop support for new languages, including Taiwanese, Japanese, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu, and Tagalog.