Mad Street Den, a Chennai-based artificial intelligence start-up has launched the world's first AI-based platform called vue.ai for fashion to help users discover more visual products on e-commerce sites.
In the two years since it started, Mad Street Den is also among the few artificial intelligence firms that is focused on building a business. It works with e-commerce firms using its underlying platform to help their customers provide visual recommendations of dress and colour patterns, cross product recommendations and increasing engagement. In turn, help them improve their business.
Ashwini Asokan, who led the mobile portfolio at Intel, and her husband Anand Chandrasekaran, a neuroscientist who helped build neurogrid at Stanford University, moved to India in 2013 from Silicon Valley to build Mad Street Den, a computer vision artificial intelligence company. Their move coincided with India's e-commerce boom with online shopping start-ups looking for ideas and concepts that could help improve sales and their customers shopping experience. The first mover advantage helped the husband-wife team see a business opportunity and eventually an AI platform for fashion was born.
Mad Street Den has been working with e-commerce firms such as Craftsvilla, Voonik and YepMe.
"We have been working with e-commerce firms in the last eight months. They have seen 4x increase in views in products," said Asokan, who is also chief executive officer of Mad Street Den.
The firm currently works with about 50 clients in the US, West Asia and India with Vue. Ai, the fashion focused platform.
Mad Street Den's focus on India and Asia comes at a time when AI and deep machine learning investment is seen as necessary for global technology companies. Firms such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Dropbox are investing in such technologies to build more relevant products and engaging with their billions of users. As their appetite increases, these firms have been acquiring start-ups to build acquire talent and build new technologies to keep them ahead of the game. Apple early this month acquired Emotient, a valley startup that helps advertisers to know what users felt about their ads.
"There is not a single AI company in the Valley that has built a business," said Asokan. "For us, India turned out more interesting. This really took off because we are in Asia".
She said the firm is working on newer platforms, while expanding the focus on Vue. Ai
In January 2015, Mad Street Den raised $ 1.5 million in seed fund from Exfinity Fund, promoted by among others former Infosys honchos T V Mohandas Pai and V Balakrishnan and GrowX Ventures.