Smart speakers and voice assistants are increasingly popular, but what’s their value in corporate terms?
It’s hard to tell given that many of the companies making them – Apple, Google and Amazon included – don’t split out their revenues from this technology, and the companies’ market caps are based on their entire businesses.
But here’s a number to play with: $2.9bn. That’s the valuation of Chinese tech firm Baidu’s ‘Smart Living’ group, which includes its smart speakers and displays, as well as its voice assistant.
The valuation comes from a new funding round (of an undisclosed amount) raised by Baidu for this division specifically.
Earlier this year, research firm Canalys estimated that Baidu took third place for global smart speaker shipments in 2019, with its 17.3m units behind only Google (23.8m) and Amazon (37.3m).
Meanwhile, the DuerOS voice assistant had 400 million users in July 2019, and while that figure hasn’t been updated, DuerOS generated 5.8bn voice queries from its users in June 2020 alone.