Founder Stories
5
 mins
August 23, 2022

Founder Stories - Eleven Labs

A conversation with Mati & Piotr, co-founders of Eleven Labs

Mati (left) & Piotr (right)

Background

Where were you born, and where did you grow up? 

Mati:

I was born in Zalesie, a suburb of Warsaw, and then I moved to the capital, where I happily met Piotr in the Copernicus high-school and we’ve been best friends ever since!

I went on to study Mathematics in London, UK, where I later got to work at incredible companies, met my girlfriend and have now started Eleven Labs where I strive to make the most of my experience in deploying products at scale.

Piotr:

I was born in Gdansk, Poland and soon thereafter our family moved to Warsaw. I knew I wanted to move abroad one day as well, so I enrolled at the Copernicus International Baccalaureate programme, where I was fortunate enough to meet Mati.

Later on I moved to the UK, graduating from Oxford & Cambridge where my interest in research & coding only grew - and naturally this is now my key responsibility at 11.

Where are you based today? 

Mati:

Based in London and oscillating between Warsaw and London. Soon hoping to spend increasingly more time in the US, where we envision a number of great use-cases for our dubbing technology.

Piotr:

I am back and based in Warsaw now, after spending the time in the UK and Switzerland in the past years. It’s a great combination of traditional and modern vibes. 

Have you ever started a company before? 

Mati & Piotr:

ElevenLabs is our first true company, though throughout the years we were lucky to pursue a number of fun projects together. We recently deployed a simple app that detects your accent from a sample of your speech.

Previously we explored doing a smarter recommendation system based on people you trust, an optimizer that finds the optimum just based on your few choices and a module to provide suggestions on your speech. If you are ever interested in those, just drop us a line!

The Business

On to the main item - What is Eleven Labs?

Eleven Labs is a company that develops automatic dubbing tools which preserve the distinctive features of the speaker’s voice and tone across languages.

Imagine you’re a YouTuber who creates videos on astronomy. You record in your native language, let’s say in English, and this limits your audience to English-speakers. To solve this problem, we automatically dub your video and produce one where you speak native-grade Spanish, in your own voice and with your emotions preserved, matching the original editing of the visuals - all without sounding robotic.

Now imagine a future where all audio content is accessible in any language, in high production quality - across movies, TV, advertising, podcasts, audiobooks, streaming, gaming or real-time conversation - that’s what we're tackling.

So you founded Eleven Labs in early 2022 - what was the ‘aha’ moment for you and how long had you planned to start this business? 

We grew up in Poland where we watched too many voiceover (VO) movies as kids. VOs were flat and monotonous, and even though you could scarcely hear the actors beneath, we’ve always been struck by how lively their actual voices seemed in comparison. Then dubbing came, still often poorly produced, but we kept imagining the actors actually being able to speak our language. Fast forward some 15 years and we both found ourselves quitting our jobs at Google and Palantir, and founded Eleven to solve this problem once and for all.

What have you learnt about your industry that may surprise others? 

It’s how eager creators are to try new things and experiment. Some of the YouTube creators we've spoken with are practically celebrities. You might assume they’re comfortable where they are, happily monetising their audiences and fame, but to our surprise many of them were really receptive to our cold outreach.

Creators are startups in their own right - managing everything from production through hiring to marketing - and a lot of this comes from raw passion, meaning they are a pleasure to work with!

Where do you want to take Eleven Labs?

Our vision is to help make content universally accessible across languages. 

Why will you win this market?

We love what we do and have fun while doing it!

Building on experience in big tech companies, combining it with transparency, trust and speed, we think we can build an incredible team and products that will ultimately benefit viewers worldwide, regardless of their native dialect or geography.

The Journey Ahead

What sort of roles and people are you looking to join the Eleven Labs journey? 

We are currently hiring for a passionate frontend engineer with UI/UX experience to join the team.

If anyone out there loves working with users, care about their journey through the entire product and have great technical skills, then this role is for you!

You will be working alongside the rest of the technical and product team to help provide access to anyone out there to state-of-the-art dubbing and voice generation solutions.

Why should prospective employees come and work for Eleven Labs? 

We believe in transparency, matching peoples passion to their work at Eleven. This means building an open environment where anyone can engage in new projects and ideas.

Both Piotr and I have had the good fortune of working at some of the worlds leading companies, and these perspectives gave us valuable insights on how to build a long lasting company, as well as foster an atmosphere of shared enterprise.

We aim to instil the best of what we learned in our own workplace and we couldn’t be more eager to learn from others.

How come you chose to work with Concept? 

When we read the Concept’ investment vision we felt like we were reading our own exact ambitions - transforming how people Work, Play and Learn is what we are after and we couldn’t imagine a better partnership.

More than that, the quality that we value most of all is transparency, and ever since day 1, we felt part of the same team with Olly & Reece. Specifically, their clarity of process, eagerness to help, and honesty about where Concept can help. We are really looking forward to the years ahead!

Where should any prospective customers/investors/employees learn more about you? 

Visit us on the web at https://elevenlabs.io/!

Or feel free to contact us directly at founders@elevenlabs.io