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Voice AI Platform SoundHound Agrees to Archimedes SPAC Merger

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(Bloomberg) -- SoundHound, which makes a voice artificial-intelligence platform used by global corporations including Mercedes-Benz, Snap Inc. and Mastercard Inc., has agreed to go public through a merger with Archimedes Tech SPAC Partners Co.

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The transaction gives SoundHound an enterprise value of about $2.1 billion, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Keyvan Mohajer said in an emailed statement. The firm enables companies to integrate voice assistants into their products and services.

SoundHound’s balance sheet will be bolstered by as much as $244 million in gross proceeds. That includes $133 million from Archimedes’ cash-in-trust and $111 million from a fully committed common equity PIPE that is priced at $10.00 a share. The PIPE is anchored by Oracle Corp., Koch Industries and MKaNN Ventures. Other participating investors in the PIPE include Cota Capital, Vizio Holding Corp., HTC Corp. and FIH Mobile Ltd., a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, SoundHound and Archimedes said.

“We believe voice AI is poised to create the next major disruption in computing,” Mohajer said in the statement. “Companies across industries recognize that voice AI is essential to customer retention, brand loyalty, market competitiveness, and future success.”

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, with the combined company set to be named SoundHound AI Inc. and listed on Nasdaq under the ticker “SOUN.”

Founded in 2005, Santa Clara, California-based SoundHound says its technology is available in 22 languages, and that its platform, known as Houndify, gives customers the ability to analyze user behavior. Its website shows the SoundHound app, which applies its voice AI technology to music, has had more than 315 million downloads. Users can find the name of a song “by simply singing or humming,” the company says, and its voice assistants can control air conditioning, windows and other features within cars, and can be used on other devices including televisions and cell phones.

Early investors in SoundHound include Tencent Holdings Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co., Daimler AG and Orange SA. SoundHound counts Shazam, acquired by Apple Inc. in 2018, among its competitors.

Archimedes, led by Chairman Eric R. Ball, CEO Stephen Cannon and Chief Financial Officer Long Long, raised $133 million in a March initial public offering, and said it would focus on finding a target in the technology industry.

“Much like Apple disrupted and revolutionized human-machine interaction via the perfection of touch, SoundHound is poised to disrupt and revolutionize human-machine interaction via voice,” Ball said in an emailed statement.

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