Originally an AI-powered notetaker for meetings sans recording bots, Superpowered has now reinvented itself as Vapi, an API provider. This shift empowers users to create their natural-sounding, voice-based AI assistants effortlessly.
Established in 2020 by Jordan Dearsley and Nikhil Gupta, Superpowered spent three years honing its original product. However, the team sought a more formidable challenge. Despite the pivot, the startup ensures the continuity of its profitable Superpowered product, actively seeking new leadership.
Vapi emerges as an API solution allowing developers to create voice-based bots effortlessly. By using prompts, developers can integrate the bot behind a phone number, and an SDK integration facilitates embedding the bot on websites and mobile apps.
Vapi currently strings together various third-party APIs for a robust voice conversation platform. It leverages Twilio for telephony, Deepgram for transcription, Daily for audio streaming, OpenAI for responses, and PlayHT for text-to-speech.
Reducing latency emerges as a significant challenge for Vapi. Magnus Revan, CPO at Openstream.ai, notes the discrepancy between OpenAI's 2-10 seconds response time and the industry standard of 700ms for phone-based interactions. Currently, Vapi experiences latency ranging from 1.2 to 2 seconds, a challenge Dearsley aims to address, aiming for sub-1-second latency within a month.
Angel investor Mohamed Musbah highlights Vapi's potential to improve as OpenAI and others enhance their models. The platform's focus on overcoming friction in voice communication positions it advantageously as user demand for voice assistants grows.
However, Vapi's reliance on external APIs raises questions about defensibility if larger companies enter the domain. Dearsley underscores Vapi's edge lies in its infrastructure, which is capable of handling thousands of simultaneous calls. With the public launch of Vapi's web and phone APIs, the team is building proprietary models for audio-to-audio solutions.
In a landscape where natural, human-like voice assistants are in high demand, Vapi's transformation signals a promising leap forward in AI communication.
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