NeuroPixel.AI is a B2B DeepTech SaaS start-up founded in January 2021 to tackle opportunities at the intersection of Computer Vision and E-Commerce. NeuroPixel.AI is founded by Arvind Nair (CEO) and Amritendu Mukherjee (CTO). Arvind has 10 years of experience, is an alumnus of ISB, and was previously working with the Growth team at Myntra.
Amritendu has completed his PhD from IISc on Image Processing using machine learning. He has previously worked with Lexmark R&D and Intel Habana AI Labs. He also has 4 publications in this field in reputed scientific journals.
Incubees: Tell us about NeuroPixel.AI.
NeuroPixel.AI: The start-up originated at Entrepreneur First, a leading global VC that operates in a pretty unique manner-they bring together a group of talented individuals who they believe would make great start-up founders for a five-month incubation program. At the end of the program they selectively invest a small amount in a few of the teams that are formed and shepherd them through the early stages of forming a company, validating the concept, and preparing them for a larger Seed investment within a few short months.
Today we have closed our Seed round and are now a team of 8 people (Aug-21). 7 out of the 8 member team are on R&D – all from the IISc. In terms of funding, we are backed by a pool of leading Indian and International VCs, as well as some amazing angel investors.
Incubees: What are the services you offer? Also, brief us about DeepNet Algorithm.
NeuroPixel.AI: With our first product, we are automating one of the most operationally intensive and repetitive processes that every fashion e-commerce platform contends with, daily – the cataloging of apparel. Our technology will allow our clients to shoot any apparel on just a mannequin, and our proprietary DeepNet framework will render those apparel onto models of different sizes in different poses.
This means that photographers, models, stylists, and make-up artists won’t be required on a daily basis for the apparel catalogued through our technology. At a base level, we aim to improve process times by 10x and reduce costs by 30%. Where this gets interesting though is in enabling catalogue image-based personalization-according to size, ethnicity, and age – which we expect will improve revenues for the platforms by 15%+ through better conversion. The same technology can be used for a high-fidelity virtual try-on solution for apparel, where customers can visualize themselves in the apparel they are considering purchasing. This is largely an unsolved problem as of today unlike the case with accessories like glasses as well as cosmetics, and we expect that every online fashion platform will use this in a couple of years from now.
Once both these verticals are generating revenues, likely in around 6 months, we will look to expand into other opportunities at the intersection of AI and E-Commerce itself.
Incubees: What makes your services unique? Tell us about the competition you see in India and Globally for Artificial Intelligence.
NeuroPixel.AI: Our differentiation is the core technology itself. We have built our stack using several recent breakthroughs from a wide variety of fields within the realm of Image Processing including medical imaging and satellite imaging. The way in which we have leveraged these breakthroughs combined them, and built on top of it is something that we are confident is unique and very difficult to replicate.
In terms of competition, there are a few exceptional companies, both from India and overseas, going after this problem. A number of them have raised a good amount of funding over the past couple of years as this is an exciting area of research and development. In fact, we would view Virtual Try-ons and Catalogue Image-Based Personalization as two of the largest untapped growth hacking levers for any fashion e-commerce platform globally, so the size of the prize is definitely exciting but at the end of the day, it’s important to be cognizant of the fact that we and our competitors are still at the early stages of solving this with an elegant high fidelity solution that is versatile across a wide range of article types like formal shirts, dresses, kurtis and so on.
We’re excited to be on this path that can enable the next frontier of personalization for fashion platforms which can not only benefit them in terms of boosting conversion and revenues but will also play a key role in promoting body positivity and inclusivity through more relatable imagery for the average consumer.
Incubees: How has COVID-19 impacted your business? What are the challenges you face as a start-up?
NeuroPixel.AI: For all large fashion platforms, the cataloguing team was one of the few ones that were never able to migrate to a work-from-home setup. We believe that companies will consequently be a lot more open to such a solution than they otherwise would have, so it’s probably been a bit of a blessing in disguise for us. Secondly, the inherent boost to online shopping as a consequence of the COVID will be a strong tailwind for us since all these companies are increasingly looking at strong differentiating elements for their platforms through deploying the cutting-edge tech.
Incubees: Tell us about your team and what keeps them motivated.
NeuroPixel.AI: We’ve been incredibly lucky in terms of onboarding researchers from the IISc who are intrinsically driven by the desire to solve complex computer vision problems. We’re all focused on bridging the gap between cutting-edge research in a lab setting, and making it deployable in a commercial complex environment. Solving this in itself is incredibly rewarding. Other than that, there are always the financial incentives through ESOPs of getting onboard a well-funded start-up at the very early stages.
Incubees: Branding and identity being an important aspect, tell us how do you advertise your services/business?
NeuroPixel.AI: Given that we are a B2B SaaS company at a pre-product, pre-revenue stage, we haven’t really started advertising for our business as yet. We do plan on doing this in about 4-5 months from now – predominantly on platforms such as LinkedIn, technology publications, and by exhibiting at tech/retail conferences globally as soon as we’re ready.
Incubees: Would you like to address budding Entrepreneurs?
NeuroPixel.AI: I think the most important thing is to do it for the right reasons – because of the desire to solve a real problem and you’re uniquely positioned to solve it, or even because you think you’re seeing something nobody else does. Mentioning this as I think it’s important to not take the plunge because you may be temporarily dissatisfied with your job or something like that, as that kind of conviction can quickly dissipate. Secondly, if you have decided to take the plunge, it’s supercritical to wholeheartedly commit to it in every way. Most start-ups fail because that conviction level drops when things aren’t going your way, which is bound to happen in most cases early on, so doing it for the right reasons and following through by going ‘all-in’ are probably the most important things I would say to any aspiring entrepreneur.
To know more, visit: https://www.neuropixel.ai/