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Exclusive: The UAE’s own voice app Wrappup gets acquired by Cisco

AMEinfo speaks to Rishav Jalan, Co-Founder of the successful voice app Wrappup, which has now been acquired twice, to learn more about his promising startup.

Wrappup believed in the UAE from day one, despite being given options elsewhere Last year, the company caught the eye of US-based app Voicea, which ended up acquiring Wrappup Now, Cisco has acquired Voicea, and in turn Wrappup

AI voice-to-text note-taking startup app Wrappup has been making waves in the UAE, and some important names have taken notice. Last year, the company was acquired by California-based Voicea, an international player in the voice app field. Now, international communications firms Cisco has acquired Voicea, embedding the ambitious Dubai startup that was already absorbed by Voicea into the greater Cisco body of services, 

“It’s been a great journey for us, starting from a prototype built in a 24 hour Hackathon to now with Cisco getting the opportunity to impact millions of users with the product we built. In this journey, we were fortunate to get a lot of support from the local community and in5 in particular which has been Wrappup’s home from start and helped us scale our startup and connect with mentors and other entrepreneurs,” said Rishav Jalan, Co-Founder of Wrappup

Hoping to learn more about their exciting company, AMEinfo had the opportunity to speak with Jalan. 

How did you come up with the idea for Wrappup? What problem were you trying to solve for consumers?

My co-founder Rami was working as a consultant at the time and used to spend long hours after work compiling notes from his meetings. That’s where the idea of Wrappup came from. People spend a huge amount of time after meetings compiling notes or writing them during the meeting and which leads them to being distracted during important conversations, We wanted to solve this problem. So in a meeting, you now only focus on the conversation.

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How did you seek to differentiate Wrappup from the plethora of voice transcription programs and apps in the international market? 

We always made sure to bring across that Wrappup was not just a transcription app. Instead, it was a productivity app which helped one focus more on the meeting and worry less about the notes. We don’t want people to waste time reading through the full meeting transcript. We instead provide users with highlights from the transcript which capture all the important moments from the meeting based on how they configure the product.

Did founding the company in the UAE give you any particular edge or insight in understanding the overall voice transcription market and helping you rival existing competitors?

After we had started and gained some traction, we had the option to either start out with a great accelerator in the US or grow our business on our own from the UAE. We chose the UAE.

Launching our startup out of the UAE was a great advantage for us as we got a lot of support from the local community and the ecosystem. In5, which is a TECOM run incubation centre, helped us in keeping our startup costs super low and connected us with great mentors in the region. The local investors and ecosystem partners were very excited about us building such an advanced AI product out of dubai and always supported us in our journey.

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Now that Cisco/Voicea have acquired Wrappup and rebranded it as Voicea, how will your services differ? What should customers expect?  

For now the services will continue as is. The product will eventually become more focused on Webex and other Cisco collaboration tools and how Voicea’s AI capabilities could enhance a user’s Webex experience. Now, we would get an opportunity to directly integrate into Webex, the biggest meetings platform in the world, and provide a much better experience to users.

What are your plans going forward? How do you hope to direct Wrappup/Voicea? 

We have a great opportunity ahead of us in Cisco. We have the opportunity to impact hundreds of millions of users, so we will try our best to improve their experience and make a positive impact on their work life. 

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