Hong Kong-based AI startup Fano Labs has raised an undisclosed Pre-Series A round led by Horizon Ventures, the private investment arm of Li Ka-shing.

The company, which is backed by Hong Kong-based AI accelerator Zeroth.ai, develops speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP) technologies that focus on Chinese dialects processing and analysis.

With the newly-raised financing, Fano Labs will accelerate its expansion into Chinese call centre industry. According to an official press release, all calls at these call centres are recorded but only a small percentage are analysed. Also, many of these calls are in Chinese dialects, which increases the complexity of analysis.

Also Read: Zeroth, AI funding program wants to put Asia’s AI startups on the map

This untapped market provides a huge opportunity for Fano Labs to deploy — and test — its solution. Its AI system can analyse all phone calls in Cantonese, Sichuanese, English and Mandarin, and provide managers of these call centres with business intelligence, allowing them to conduct better quality control over the calls.

Fano Labs is a spin-off from the University of Hong Kong and operates both in Hong Kong and China. To date, it has signed some of Asia-based enterprises, including property developers, utility companies and telecommunication companies.

“We are a team of scientists and engineers. Our world-class technical expertise in speech and NLP technologies would empower us to revolutionize the way call centres operate. Our bond with HKU, one of the oldest universities in the region, brings us deep intellectual and academic resources. We aim to be the hub of AI in Asia,” said Dr. Wen, co-founder and CEO of Fano Labs, in an official press statement.

“We love deep tech companies that apply this AI power to improve critical human communications problems. Fano Labs’ solution for multiple dialects allows for this rewind of the Tower of Babel story,” said Horizons Ventures’ Phil Chen.

Image Credit: Fano Labs