From Disrupting E-Commerce to Mainstream AI, Staqu Going Strong
With an idea so unique, it was a challenge for the co-founders to precisely explain the enterprise and its myriad services to both, clients and investors. Self-funding the venture in the beginning, Staqu emerged victorious in the IBM GEP SmartCamp Challenge
Internet consists of 70% of image data and there are only few companies which are utilizing it to solve some of known problem of search, discovery, recommendation, Ad. tech etc. Staqu Started with the thought of solving real world problems, by leveraging the unique capabilities and applications of Artificial Intelligence in image domain.
Founded in October, 2015, Staqu is a Delhi based Artificial Intelligence startup, striving to revolutionize the fashion e-commerce industry, by quite literally, making the pictures speak a thousand words. E-commerce is one industry with heave dependence on images. However, most of these images are “read” by search engines and hence, in a situation where meta-tags are not articulately defined, the product would fail to reach out to the interested user. Besides, language comes with its own limitations when it comes to describing a particular fabric, pattern, design and texture, given the limited character spaces.
The venture has been jointly co-founded by Atul Rai, Anurag Saini, Chetan Rexwal, Pankaj Sharma. The company has utilized the expertise of the founding members to pioneer an innovative image understanding AI , hence simplifying image search, automated product description generation and real time recommendation for ecommerce companies.
With its prime focus on AI research - image processing, deep learning, computer vision, and NLP, Staqu has produced the VGrep API suite, fundamentally offering visual search engine , hybrid recommendation engine, and fashion trend analysis from videos among other solutions. The AI startup has pioneered an intelligent bidirectional image understanding technology, which automates image to text and text to image discovery. By painstakingly smoking GPUs and crunching data, Staqu is currently endeavoring to provide its users with a superior search experience, analyze the best of fashion trends spotted on social media and provide with the most contextual, relevant and personalized product recommendations.
With an idea so unique, it was a challenge for the co-founders to precisely explain the enterprise and its myriad services to both, clients and investors. Self-funding the venture in the beginning, Staqu emerged victorious in the IBM GEP SmartCamp Challenge. It was perceived as the most promising startup in the region round from North India, and was then successfully picked amongst the top four startups by IGM’s Global Entrepreneur Program. The feat empowered Staqu to successfully raise funds from the Indian Angel Network in an investment round led by Ajay Gupta, Bikky Khosla and Neeraj Singhal.
The investors viewed value in the products, which could be leveraged to increase the sales of fashion ecommerce portals, reduce their operations’ cost and provide a seamless user experience. Rightly so, Staqu partnered with several leading ecommerce portals, such as YEPME, Paytm and ROPOSO. OEMs followed suit as Staqu partnered with Karbonn for the launch of its FashionEye. The same was succeeded with other OEMs alliances, namely Panasonic, Lava, Intex, for a wide gamut of AI powered solutions.
The second half of 2016 witnessed Staqu entering the B2C segment, via the launch of its smart fashion app, Fashin. Meant to act as the personal stylist and guide for fashion enthusiasts, the AI-powered app introduced some of the most amazing and never-seen-before features. Fashin is fully adept to extract fashion from a running YouTube video and mention where online shopping portals like Myntra, Jabong etc where the same outfit is available. Furthermore, the app, available both on iOS and Android, enables fashion discovery via image uploads and also compare the prices from different ecommerce sites. To complete the entire spectrum of fashion ecommerce services, the app also makes available the hottest deals of the day, as offered by several leading ecommerce portals.
While 2016 has clearly been an eventful year for Staqu, 2017 promises to be equally action-packed. The co-founders are driven with the vision to further strengthen the given technology, make superior AI capabilities available in real-time without any dependence of internet access. Furthermore, the team at Staqu recognizes the unique capabilities of AI, especially in democratizing access to a host of services provided by other industry verticals, namely FinTech, Healthcare, Education and more. The enterprise is driven with the vision to mainstream Artificial Intelligence and utilize its applications to solve the real world problems.
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