Startup Showcase is a series of articles to explore hand-picked startups that are making a difference in their industry or are leading the curve. This, the first article of the series, is written by Vivek Vaidya, an intern at the startup HyperVerge.
HyperVerge is a Silicon Valley based startup that’s working on bringing image recognition, computer vision and a whole host of other cutting-edge technologies into apps built for everyday use. But the firm wasn’t always like this - here is a quick glimpse into the story of this startup.
The firm started out in December 2013 after realising that they were too big to remain a part of the Computer Vision Group at IIT Madras. Upon receiving initial funding from the IIT Madras Incubation Cell, they set out to develop their core technology and hire technical talent. With an initial focus on the B2B space, HyperVerge started building modules on contract for companies like ITC and Indian Railways. While this was earning them good money, they weren’t convinced that the job was challenging enough - which is when HyperVerge 2.0 was born. The co-founders realised that it was time to work on something that would have a real impact on users, and hence directed their focus towards the B2C segment. Soon after, the CEO - Kedar Kulkarni and CTO - Vignesh Krishnakumar went to the US to raise seed funding, and after a very interesting journey through America - more on that here - they returned with $1mn in funding from top VC firms like Milliways Ventures, NEA and Naya Ventures.
With a dedicated, talented team, and a clear vision (pun intended), they set out to test prototypes of their first mobile app, Silver. Using the popular “Build, Measure, Learn” strategy to quickly iterate through versions of the app, they built a strong “nothing is impossible” culture at the company and this has really helped validate concepts in the real world.
Currently, the team is working on two apps. The first, Magic Share, enables real-time, offline sharing of photos within groups. This app has proven to be extremely popular in the 18-24 age group, with users finding real value in having all the photos from a hangout automatically on their phone without needing to pester the person who took them. The second, SilverX, is an attempt at organising people’s photos using Artificial Intelligence - and is still in beta testing. While there are a few more apps that I cannot talk about just yet, I must add that new ideas are conceptualised everyday - and at the pace that these guys work at, they’re even executed on the same day.
As an intern at this high-pace, high-impact startup, I have just one important thing to say. I’ve learnt so much about technology, life and everything else in-between just over the course of a month. Working with IITians is an honour, and being a part of this story is something truly character-defining.
For more on HyperVerge, visit their website at www.hyperverge.co.
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