Gurugram-based AI and deep learning solutions provider ParallelDots has won the Tech4Future challenge, a collaboration of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and Invest India under Japan India Startup Hub.
Launched in November 2018, Tech4Future challenge sought to identify the most promising startups across artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, facial recognition and cyber security sectors.
As the winner, ParallelDots has received a cash prize of $50K. SoftBank has also invited ParallelDots for an incubation opportunity in Japan for 2-3 months. Invest India and SoftBank group had narrowed down the problem statement for the startups to find a solution to across the four fields:
- Machine Learning: Crowdsourced platforms/Data processing units leveraging technology to detect and block fake news
- Artificial Intelligence: Leverage technology to solve global mobility problems with a focus on road traffic safety
- Facial Recognition: Leverage technology to usher face recognition feature to the next level
- Cyber Security: Leverage technology to secure digital vehicle components and systems to avoid tampering
With the narrowed focus points, 300 startups had applied for the challenge.
What Makes ParallelDots The Differentiator Among 300 Applicants?
Ideated in 2014, ParallelDots is a venture led by Angam Parashar, Ankit Narayan Singh, and Muktabh Srivastava. ParallelDots is building an AI platform for consumer brands and retailers across the globe. Typical use cases include analyzing retail shelf images, videos in retail environment, and open-ended text responses.
ParallelDots also carries out research and development in AI/ML technology. To support its services, the backend system is built with four generic proprietary AI modules:
- Image analysis module: Detect objects in the images, identify similar/duplicate images, etc
- Video analysis module: Track various objects/points in the video, do facial recognition, detect facial emotion, etc
- Text analysis module: Identify general sentiment, emotion recognition, named entity extraction, abusive language classification, etc
- Speech analysis module: Identify specific keywords in the speech, language agnostic technology
The company has already raised $2 Mn from Multipoint Capital over the last few years. ParallelDots’ clients are spread across geographies including United States, Europe, East Asia, and India.
According to a recent report by MarketsAndMarkets, globally the deep learning market is expected to be worth $1.72 Bn by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 65.3% between 2016 and 2022.
International Collaboration For Growth
The government’s non-profit venture — Startup India Mission — is the first point of reference for potential foreign investors and aims to facilitate investments in the country. Under this programme, the country has been collaborating with a number of countries — the Netherlands, the UK, France, the US, Estonia, Germany, and Russia — to strengthen the Indian startup ecosystem.
Here’s a look at the recent collaborations:
- June 2017: PM Narendra Modi, along with Portuguese PM Antonio Costa, launched the India-Portugal International Startup Hub
- July 2017: Modi launched a five-year technology fund – The Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund, or I4F — to strengthen the business relationship between both countries
- January 2018: France sent a 65-member delegation to India, which discussed organising startup summits as well as incubating shortlisted startups
- February 2018: The UK has already started a host of initiatives which include Tech Rocketship programmes, MIDAS-Fast Five, Access India, etc, to help startups of the two countries
- March 2018: Estonia introduced its E-Residency programme to enable Indian startups to work in Estonia without any hassle. The scheme offers startups a government-issued digital ID, thus enabling them to open a global EU company online while working from India.
- May 2018: The Netherlands, in partnership with Invest India, launched StartupLink to address startup concerns in terms of taxes, policies, and other issues.
- October 2018: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with India PM Narendra Modi launched the India-Japan Startup-hub