Hong Kong’s Fano Labs completes Series B round to fund APAC expansion

Hong Kong’s Fano Labs completes Series B round to fund APAC expansion

Image Courtesy of Fano Labs.

Hong Kong-headquartered Fano Labs, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop speech and natural language processing solutions for businesses, announced the close of its Series B round on Thursday, without divulging the financial details. 

Led by Southeast Asian venture capital firm Openspace Ventures, the round saw the participation of HSBC; Greater Good Investment, the family office of Hong Kong billionaire Kenneth Lo and his wife; and existing shareholders including Horizon Ventures and Saltagen Ventures. 

The new funding will finance the establishment of Fano Labs’s new office in Singapore as part of its APAC expansion plans to serve more international clients as well as accelerate the firm’s product development, per the release. 

Founded in 2015 by Miles Wen, a PhD graduate from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Victor OK Li, who is the chair of Information Engineering and head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at HKU, Fano Labs is a spin-off from the HKU. 

The firm fills the gap in traditional speech recognition tools that often fail to capture the nuances in multilingual environments like Singapore and other regions in Asia where speakers tend to switch and mix up between different languages in daily conversations. 

Fano Labs specialises in developing mixed-language speech recognition and speaker diarisation technologies that enable computers to automatically detect the languages used and differentiate all speakers in any conversation.

So far, the firm claims that its language model can detect English, Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog, Japanese, French, Tamil, and Urdu.  

Incubated by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation — a government body set up to foster the city’s innovation and technology ecosystem —  the firm previously snapped “several millions USD of funding” from AEF Greater Bay Area Fund (AEF GBA Fund) in October 2022. 

The AEF GBA Fund, which counts e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s not-for-profit foundation Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF) as an anchor investor, invests in the Greater Bay Area covering the Chinese special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau as well as nine cities in southern China’s Guangdong Province.

Edited by: Joymitra Rai

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