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Amy Du, CEO & Co-Founder of DefinedCrowd at Microsoft Ventures Demo Day.
Amy Du, CEO & Co-Founder of DefinedCrowd at Microsoft Ventures Demo Day. (GeekWire File Photo)

DefinedCrowd, a platform that provides big data for speech and natural language processing technology, closed a $1.1 million seed funding round from Amazon’s $100 million Alexa Fund, Sony Innovation Fund and Portugal Ventures.

DefinedCrowd, based in Kirkland, Wash., will use the funds to further develop its platform that combines machine learning and data science with crowdsourcing — a network of human contributors — to help companies build artificial intelligence and natural language processing applications. The company also said it has extended its crowdsourcing network, which is now up to 36 countries covering more than 30 languages and more than 100 dialects.DefinedCrowd

“The goal of the Alexa Fund is to fuel voice technology innovation and DefinedCrowd is doing exciting work to advance machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Amazon’s Alexa division, in a statement. “Their platform helps data scientists and developers build natural language applications faster and with higher-quality without requiring deep knowledge of speech science or natural language understanding, and we’re glad the Alexa Fund investment can help expand those capabilities.”

The company was founded in 2015, and in addition to its Kirkland headquarters, it has an office in Lisbon, Portugal. DefinedCrowd recently began expanding in Asia and Europe.

The company was one of 10 machine learning and data science startups to take part in Microsoft Ventures’ Startup Accelerator earlier this year. For four months, each company in the accelerator got a helping hand from Microsoft experts as well as extra perks like access to Azure cloud services and a $25,000 grant. The entrepreneurs pitched their startups at a Demo Day in June.

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