Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the consumption of online video content in all languages has increased, creating a need for dubbing TV shows and movies into different languages.
With the rise of the creator economy (content creators, influencers, bloggers, etc.), the future seems to be “on-the-go dubbing”, where a single click converts videos into multiple other languages.
Spotting the need for dubbed content, Varshul Gupta, who previously founded an algorithm creation company, launched Software as a Service (SaaS) platform Dubverse.ai to provide real-time dubbing in 2021.
Varshul teamed up with Anuja Dhawan, a former colleague and friend, who was working with Freshworks at the time, to launch the platform. Anuja previously mentored Varshul for go-to-market (GTM) strategy and decided to join Dubverse.ai full-time in October 2021.
“The idea of Varshul seemed really interesting to me, and since I was already helping the team, I thought it would be an interesting change for me too,” said Anuja, co-founder of Dubverse.ai, in a interaction with Your story.
While Varshul takes care of the technology and engineering part of the business, Anuja focuses on creating the product and bringing it to market.
The AI-powered SaaS startup currently converts audio from English to over 30 languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati and Bengali.
“As of now, our platform is very popular for teaching content. It could be for an edtech platform or companies that want to distribute informational content to their audience,” says Varshul.
Voices on Dubverse.ai are created after recording one hour of voice content. The built-in AI is then able to understand the patterns and further mimic voice and pitch.
Incidentally, Anuja was the first person to lend her voice to this experience.
Managed by Lensmatic Solutions Pvt Ltd., the platform is relatively easy to use. Featured as Canva for real-time voice dubbing, users can download or share the video link on the platform. Using text-to-speech, Dubverse.ai then translates the video from English to Hindi or any other regional language. Users can also select the type of tones from at least six options, which include a teacher’s voice or an explanatory voice.
All of this happens in real time for the videos, which are less than 30 minutes long.
“The idea is to reduce the time it takes people to have anything translated into other languages and the voice also needs to match the context of the video,” says Anuja.
Speaking of challenges, the team says that developing new voices and for a longer duration in different expressions is a challenge. Currently, most of the challenges come from the product development side.
The company now serves over 200 users across India and also has a presence in five European Union countries, translating Spanish, French and Mandarin, among other international languages.
The company and future plans
The startup, which started with an investment of Rs 15-20 lakh, is now experimenting with a freemium model by providing some services for free and charging for other advanced services. While Dubverse has paid users, it declined to reveal numbers because the freemium model is still in the experimental stage.
In June this year, Dubverse.ai raised $800,000 in a funding round from Kalaari Capital. The startup said it will use the funds to further develop its product, where videos can be dubbed into multiple languages.
In the coming months, Dubverse.ai wants to continue improving its product, where it could imitate a single person’s voice in multiple languages, without sounding “too robotic”.
Anuja says, “When you see BYJU’s ad campaign, Shahrukh Khan is advertising the product. But if we could create technology that could imitate his voice, his voice could also be used for lessons.
Currently, Dubverse.ai, which claims to have limited competition in India, works with Vyapar, a billing platform for small businesses; Ultratech cement; and main school.