Signapse Closes £2M Seed Round to Accelerate Accessibility for Deaf People

Signapse, a company developing generative AI software for sign language translation, has secured a £2 million seed funding round. The investment comprises £1.5 million from investors and £500,000 from the UK Government.

This financing round was spearheaded by Soulmates Ventures and Deeptech Seed Fund, with participation from additional investors, including the Royal Association for Deaf people, Empirical Ventures, CEAS Investments, and FSE Group.

“I couldn’t be more excited and proud about this next stage in our growth. It is a landmark opportunity, a once in a lifetime moment, to build a transformative product,” says Sally Chalk, CEO and Co-Founder at Signapse. “I would like to thank everyone that is, and has been, part of our amazing team.”

“This is an important chapter for Signapse, where we can expand our AI messaging from limited domains of discourse such as Transport to more open ended markets such as Website and Video Translation,” says Ben Saunders, CTO and Co-Founder at Signapse. “I am excited to continue to improve accessibility for Deaf people globally.”

This new round of funding will be used to improve Deaf accessibility through building unconstrained translation for British Sign Language (BSL). Specifically, the areas that the company will focus on are:

  • Expanding into the Video Translation market to improve Deaf accessibility globally
  • Building unconstrained translation for BSL with the ability to translate from any English sentence into BSL using AI
  • Improve the quality of Signapse AI-generated Sign Language Videos

Over the past two years, Signapse has used Generative AI to create 5,000 BSL train announcements daily throughout the UK, as well as delivering over 4,000 manual BSL translations for clients in the website and video markets. More recently, Signapse has delivered Deaf accessibility to transport companies such as LNER Train Stations in the UK, and CVG Airport in the US.

“We at Soulmates Ventures are proud and excited to be a part of the Signapse endeavour in building unconstrained generative AI sign language translation. Their innovative solution is reflecting the daily challenges and needs of the Deaf people. We are looking forward to supporting the Signapse team through our acceleration programme to amplify their distinctive real-time solution and enhance accessibility in transport, mass media, TV, streaming services and others for the Deaf community globally,” says Michal Sikyta, Investment Director at Soulmates Ventures.