Originally Published on Bloombergquint.com
This week on Startup Street, a two-year-old Bengaluru-based venture that’s using artificial intelligence to understand users’ emotional responses; a startup incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras unveiled a smart air purifier developed indigenously; and Tata Trusts launched a nationwide hunt for startups innovating in the healthcare space. Here’s what went on…
Entropik Raises $1.1 Million For Scaling Up Emotion AI
Entropik Tech raised $1.1 million from a clutch of investors to scale its platform that uses artificial intelligence to understand consumer preferences based on their emotional responses.
“Emotion AI understands and predicts a consumer’s emotions and subconscious responses as they undergo any experience. It measures one’s facial expression, brainwaves, eye movements to track your subconscious states for the same,” Ranjan Kumar, founder and chief executive of Bengaluru-based Entropik Tech, told BloombergQuint in an emailed interaction. “If you are watching a movie it would be able to track which are the parts of the movie where you felt happy or sad, thus tracking your consumption preference to different aspects of that movie at its point of origin.”
Two-year-old Entropik’s platform—Affect Lab—enables brands and publishers to understand the consumer’s reaction to a particular product, content or service. This includes advertisements, movie trailers or even promotional videos. It tests it by showing it to a number of subjects who are wired to have their facial expressions, brainwaves and eye movements tracked.
Kumar explains that most marketing solutions and analytics services are based on explicit responses of the consumer, ranging from browsing pattern to feedback forms. “Entropik Tech focuses on consumer preference based on a user’s subconscious brain—that’s responsible for almost 95 percent of their decision making.”
“Our solutions lie at the conjunction of neuroscience, affective computing, machine learning and consumer research.”
–Ranjan Kumar, CEO, Entropik Tech
That promise earned it a $1.1 million early-stage funding from the Bharat Innovation Fund, that was established by the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. This is the first-ever investment from the fund which has received investments from ICICI Lombard, Philips, Bajaj Electricals Ltd., RBL Bank Ltd. and the Small Industries Development Bank of India’s Fund of Funds.
Entropik will use the funds to scale up its Affect Lab 2.0—a suite of consumer emotion recognition softwares. It also wants to expand it to the U.S. and Southeast Asia in over the next two years, starting with Singapore next month.
The startup has more than 50 clients globally including marquee names like HDFC Bank Ltd., Xiaomi, ITC Ltd., Tata Chemicals Ltd. and TAM Media Research.