Volley raises $55M voice-enabled AI games

Volley has raised $55 million in a new round of funding for its voice-enabled AI games like games for Amazon Alexa.

Lightspeed co-led the Series C round with Microsoft’s M12 Ventures. Participants in the financing include General Catalyst, Causeway Media Partners, the Amazon Alexa Fund, Bitkraft, Y Combinator and others.

Volley was cofounded by Max Child and James Wilsterman in San Francisco. The company believes it is the AI-powered game company with the highest-grossing revenues, with voice-enabled games for Amazon Alexa, Fire TVs, Roku TVs, and mobile devices.

The company’s games are played by over five million people every month. Popular Volley games include Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, 20 Questions and Question of the Day. In 2024, Volley games have been played in over 30 million homes.

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“This latest funding round will accelerate our development of new voice-controlled, AI-powered games,” said Max Child, CEO of Volley, in a statement. “Large language models and other emerging voice AI technologies are allowing us to create entirely new categories of games that weren’t previously possible. We’re thrilled to grow our portfolio of titles and reach new customers with the support of Microsoft and Lightspeed.”

Games are available on smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and smart TVs including Roku and Fire TV.
Your voice serves as a game controller. Each Volley game is controlled by talking to a microphone-enabled device, such as a smart TV voice remote, smartphone, or smart speaker. The games feature an AI voice interface—rather than traditional input mechanisms like touch screens or handheld game controllers—making them instantly accessible to a broad audience of casual players.

Volley’s games require no controllers, with voice control through your remote, phone, or smart speaker. The company’s games are built on a proprietary stack integrating four rapidly evolving AI technologies: speech recognition, natural language processing, LLM-powered content generation, and speech synthesis.

“At M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund, we seek companies innovating at the nexus of state-of-the-art AI technology and lively, entertainment-oriented experiences that are fun and engaging for everyone,” said Michael Stewart, managing partner at M12, who is joining the company’s board of directors, in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Volley as they extend their leadership in casual-format, AI-powered interactive voice games that can be delivered to their userbase of millions via the widest possible variety of devices, from smartphones to smart TVs.”

The recent raise will allow the company to further invest in creating advanced LLM-powered non-player characters and best-in-class speech recognition. OpenAI’s GPT-4o introduces exciting new avenues for Volley’s voice-powered game experiences. The company is hiring to bring even more high-quality voice game experiences to TVs, Alexa devices, and beyond.

Volley believes that generative AI, large language models, and enhanced speech synthesis technologies are going to fundamentally change the way people play games at home. The company has a hybrid work model.

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