Five years ago, Voicemod was about to close. Some of its mobile apps, which focused on real-time voice editing, had hundreds of thousands of users but didn’t generate enough revenue. Months before, an exclusive service contract for yahoo seemed to solve the problem: in December, the liquidity would run out and, after going through accelerators such as Wayra or Demium, after several rounds of investment, the start The Valencian would stay in mute. The tech giant bought AOL, their teams began to merge and that lifeline fell apart: “we went on vacation knowing that either in September we would find something or our adventure would end up being a story to tell at some point”. networking”. This is how Jaime Bosch (39 years old) remembers it for EL PAÍS, the youngest of the three brothers (Fer, 47 years old; Juan, 44 years old) who merged in 2009 their two passions, music and computer science. It’s a story of rock, code and innovation, “because what our developments are for today was unimaginable when we went to ask for our first loan. If the company hadn’t focused on innovation, we would have closed one of the five times we nearly did.”
In August, the Bosch brothers go on vacation with very different feelings from this month of 2017 (and an active rock band, Bosque). Voicemod is a reference in the creation of a voice identity in video games on line and the future that reaches us: the metaverse. “We noticed something that we didn’t pay enough attention to: people were using PC voices.” At the end of the 90s, the elders of this trio created a company dedicated to tailor-made technological development. After many years of websites and other less fun solutions, getting an iPhone 3GS made them feel that mobile software would have relevant weight in the next decade. “We were obsessed with storesclimbing apps, and just before it disappeared we realized that the direct traffic to our site was atypical. What if all this innovation, these technologies that we had focused on changing voices in games and mobile calls had a more productive use in online interactions, in video games or networks?
Voicemod is today a standard in the creation of calls skins audio; a sound identity that works in real time, like an Instagram filter, but with voice. Users can create their own or use – the most common – presets and modify them according to the situations and dynamics of a game. So, live, they can scare someone with the gravity of an ogre, pretend to be an old man, a confused teenager, a Smurf, a squirrel or give all their words (automatic adjustment unlimited). “The social turning point of video games, the massive appearance of Teams (groups of players completing missions as a gang, communicating all the time by voice) and, finally, the explosion of the flow They made us grow exponentially. As expected, the cash ran out at the end of 2017 and the founders laid off themselves and their four other employees: “we left the business model launched, with the company reduced to a hunch. And not only did it exceed the number of users needed in the first month, but the conversion rate (those who pay to have access to all possible voices and mods) increased from a hypothetical 1% to 4%. In the spring, we had already rehired the team.” Today, they continue to work with them, among the more than 150 employees of the company.
Half of its activity (11 million euros in turnover in 2021) is done in the United States. In addition, other Anglo-Saxon countries are the ones that complete the largest share of their market: Great Britain, Canada, Australia… For this reason, in 2020 they started working in English as the first language, although their headquarters remain in Valencia and they have employees in several countries and a total telecommuting model. Currently, Fer and Juan are in charge of the innovation area, where, according to them, “the main influence continues to be a department dedicated to listening to user suggestions. Our improvements and our successes have always come not of the imagination of the product, but of the response to the real needs of our customers”. Jaime is still dressed in the manager’s costume (albeit with a t-shirt and jeans): “in these years of expansion, the challenge has been to avoid impostor syndrome and, while attracting the best talent in the world, to reposition itself in its own business and humbly accept your role”. Music continues to help all of this, as in the beginning, because, as they prepare to be a player more about the revolution artificial voicesit’s easy to find them guitar in hand, as if they were still playing in the family home with their seven other siblings, where computers and rock were already a big part of their dreams.
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