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Who owns ElevenLabs?

Is ElevenLabs a siren song luring us into ethical peril, or is the next startup primed to become a household name? The jury’s still out.

who owns eleven labs feature image for blog
Imaage: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: ElevenLabs is owned by its founders, Piotr Dabkowski and Mati Staniszewski, with backing from investors.

Turns out the brains behind the sassy AI voices telling you the weather belong to two tech bros you’ve probably never heard of.

But the questionable origins of ElevenLabs will make you think twice about giving your smart speaker an upgrade.

ElevenLabs burst onto the scene quicker than your average viral TikTok dance, dazzling over a million users with its flagship speech synthesis tool.

For context, this little piece of software breathes uncanny emotional range into robotic voices, spitting out expressions as fast as Kanye spouts controversy.

ElevenLabs made waves with its viral voice cloning software, but who’s behind this increasingly controversial AI startup?

elevenlabs logo on a screenshot of their voice library
Image: KnowTechie

So, who owns ElevenLabs?

Apparently, the company’s two owners have some impressive notches on their belts. So what’s the history? Where were they before?

Short Answer: ElevenLabs is owned by its founders, former Google brainiac Piotr Dabkowski and Palantir strategist Mati Staniszewski.

What do a machine learning expert and corporate schemer make when they join forces? An AI startup so potentially problematic that even Mark Zuckerberg raised an eyebrow.

ElevenLabs ownership

Dabkowski and Staniszewski remain the key shareholders and decision-makers, but ElevenLabs now also counts influential VC firms like Andreessen Horowitz as major investors.

They have a unique approach to voice synthesis, using contextual clues from the text to determine the appropriate emotion and adjust things like tone and inflection.

This helps the AI deliver longer texts more naturally by preserving that context over time.

On the surface, ElevenLabs looks slick. The voice cloning tech impressed notoriously picky Silicon Valley investors into forking out $2 million pre-seed so the company could scale up.

They’re also working on user-designed voices and paying actors for clones, indicating an ethical approach to using human voices.

On the surface, ElevenLabs looks slick.

elevenlabs voice library image on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

The voice cloning tech impressed notoriously picky Silicon Valley investors into forking out $2 million pre-seed so the company could scale up.

But now ethicists are wagging their fingers about the “Black Mirror-esque” implications. And to be fair, they’re certainly not wrong about that.

“It’s only a matter of time before this voice mimicry gets out of hand,” tweeted leading AI philosopher Susan Schneider. “Deepfakes are so 2020. The real victim in 2023 is truth itself.”

ElevenLabs Cheat Sheet

  • Founders: Piotr Dabkowski (former Google engineer) and Mati Staniszewski (ex-Palantir strategist)
  • Established: 2022
  • Headquarters: United States
  • Product: AI-powered speech synthesis platform
  • Special Features: Emotionally responsive voice synthesis, quick voice cloning
  • Investors: Andreessen Horowitz among others
  • Funding: $2 million pre-seed funding
  • User Base: Over a million users

ElevenLabs may have built a better vocal mousetrap, but some experts worry we’ll all wind up getting snapped if the wrong people get their hands on it.

Still, the founders swear that world domination isn’t part of their grand plan.

“We just want to take voice tech to the next level,” Dabkowski innocently shrugged in an interview.

Is ElevenLabs a siren song luring us into ethical peril, or is the next startup primed to become a household name? The jury’s still out.

ElevenLabs ElevenLabs
5.0

ElevenLabs offers a platform for generating AI-powered synthetic voices with a multilingual reach, focusing on authentic speech synthesis for various digital uses.

What We Like:
  • Emotive Enhancement: ElevenLabs' AI understands context, adjusting tone and inflection to deliver emotionally resonant speech, potentially transforming your audio content experience.
  • Voice Cloning Capabilities: With quick voice cloning features, ElevenLabs promises unique flexibility in voice selection, allowing for a more personalized output.
  • Ethical Approach: The company is proactively addressing ethical concerns, working on user-designed voices and considering fair compensation models for voice actors.
  • Investor Confidence: Backed by major VC firms and having secured significant early funding, ElevenLabs has a strong foundation and shows promise for future advancements in the field.
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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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