Back in the day, SoundHound was the closest thing Shazam had to a true competitor in the music identification space, although it was never quite as big as its rival. In recent years SoundHound evolved well beyond music to become a specialist in voice search and voice-based interfaces. Last time it pinged our radar, it was preparing plans to go public via a SPAC merger with a $2.1bn valuation.

How did that go? Well, SoundHound did go public, and its last financial results saw it setting record revenues and boasting that it was “accelerating our path to profitability”. However, fast forward to last week, and the company was laying off nearly half its staff – around 200 people according to tech-news site Gizmodo – just two months after a previous round of layoffs.

“As a result of changing economic conditions, including high interest rates, rising inflation, and fears of recession, companies with our profile became much less desirable,” wrote CEO Keyvan Mohajer in an email to staff announcing the latest cuts.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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