Image recognition startup Hyperverge Inc has secured $1 million (Rs 6.54 crore) in seed fund from venture capitalists New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Milliways Ventures and Naya Ventures.
The IIT Madras incubated Hyperverge will use the money raised to expand into the US, as per a press statement. The company will also forge strategic partnerships with other businesses to expand its consumer base in the US and India.
"The innovation we've seen from HyperVerge has been extremely impressive," said Kittu Kolluri, general partner at NEA. "They have strong ambitions and the potential to achieve them—the technology developed by the company can span out as useful applications for consumers, enterprises and developers. We are thrilled to partner with HyperVerge to bring innovative deep-learning solutions to users and prospective partners," Kolluri added.
As part of the investment, Dayakar Puskoor from Naya Ventures has joined Hyperverge's board.
Started in 2014, Hyperverge has created tools for recognition of people, scenes, events, documents, objects within photos. It also helps in analysing photo quality to find bad photos, duplicates, spam photos and so on.
The startup will soon launch a mobile application called Silver, which helps users organise pictures on their smartphone by utilising "deep learning" technology that recognises faces, scenes, documents, business cards and other patterns within images to categorise photo albums based on context.
"Deep learning" is a type of artificial intelligence that uses neural networks to process vast amount of data.
"Working with a budget of under Rs 600,000, we were able to create classifiers for identification of people, scenes, events and unique patterns in images," said Kedar Kulkarni, CEO and co-founder of HyperVerge. "We spent the last six months on developing the technology. Now we will be focusing on marketing our product to get early adopters," he added.
HyperVerge has offices in Palo Alto (the US), Bangalore and Chennai. It was founded as an R&D group in IIT Madras, where the first prototype of their cloud-based image recognition technology was developed. The team also received guidance from MIT Media Labs and the IIT alumni community.