A digital health startup working to bring digital tools in the area of speech therapy closed a $1.5 million funding round this month, and is planning to expand its Baltimore-based U.S. presence.
The Series A funding for TikTalk2Me included investment from Israeli IT company Malam Team, Maccabi Fund and the Israel Innovation Authority.
As head of U.S. business development Nir Gamilel told us in the spring, the company applies technologies including AI, machine learning and speech recognition to the treatment of speech issues and disorders. The company’s tablet-based platform, called TikTalk (no relation to the social media app), is designed to be used by speech language pathologists to help personalize training programs, and present children with engaging games that will improve and track their progress between sessions.
“We want the speech-language pathologist to use this system as a tool to do their job in a more advanced way, a more effective way and in a way that the kids will adjust much faster,” Gamilel told us earlier this year.
Here’s how we described it then:
The company’s cloud-based technology includes a clinician portal, which allows the speech-language pathologist to set up a plan for therapy. Another part of the platform is a series of games that children undergoing therapy can play, and get feedback on their speech. In one example, a word appears, and it must be repeated back. TikTalk’s system then uploads it to the cloud. It has thousands of samples of folks saying a word, and analyzes it by comparing with those responses. Then, it can offer feedback. There was no dataset that the company could draw from, so it is training the system with more use, and in turn that will improve the feedback over time.
Alongside Israel, the company has offices in Baltimore, and is being supported by the Maryland Israel Development Center, is now looking to expand its sales team and grow marketing resources. Gamilel has said the speech therapy market is worth $4 billion.
“TikTalk2Me represents the future of AI enabled digital health and therapeutics,” said Shlomo Eisenberg, Malam Team’s chairman, in a statement. “We have confidence that the Tiktalk2Me team can capture a meaningful share of the speech language therapy marketplace.”
At a time when tech tools are being sought by providers, it’s among a group of digital health companies making moves and raising venture capital locally this year, alongside emocha, b.well Connected Health and BurnAlong. Insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and hospital network LifeBridge Health also teamed up to launch a new incubator to bring the next generation of companies along.