How these IBM execs are using AI-powered edge computing to provide businesses with actionable insights
Microsoft, IBM, and other Fortune 500 companies are often faced with several business problems. To solve these, their innovation teams use AI and computer vision-based solutions. Arjun Das, Amit Das, Jack Kundamal, and Sougata Majumdar were a part of such teams for long.
“While we were almost always able to devise a suitable algorithm tailored to the business problem, overall projects had varying degrees of success due to the realities of receiving training data and other such ‘last-mile’ problems. Often, these initiatives were shelved before we could realise the fruits of our labour due to typical large company priorities,” Arjun says.
After several such iterations they realised that they were on the cutting edge of computer vision and recognition analytics, but were not able to achieve their full potential.
“It was then that we decided to form our own company to productise our solution and address the ‘teething pains’ and impediments that new deep tech endeavours typically face,” Arjun says.
Say hello to Nymo
Nymo Technologies, an AI company that focuses on edge computing, computer vision, and deep learning technologies, was launched in 2018. The startup has built AI algorithms for facial recognition.
The deep tech startup provides actionable insights through intelligent facial, image, and behaviour recognition while dramatically reducing processing, bandwidth, and storage needs using patented edge computing devices and solutions.
Nymo’s video analytics platform serves smart cities, retail automation, and security and surveillance for government and private enterprises. The four founders had realised the problem with building these while being a part of larger organisations.
The founding team comes with a wealth of experience.
Arjun has over 17 years of experience in data science, AI, and ML at the likes of IBM, E&Y, and KPMG, while Amit has 26 years of experience in technology consulting, product development, ML, and financial crime analytics at IBM, Cognizant, and PWC.
Jack comes with 26 years of experience in predictive data analytics, business development, and solution engineering at Viridyan, Connectiva, and Schlumberger, while Sougata brings in 16 years of experience in front-end application design, user experience, and interface architecture at IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Deutsche Bank.
The challenges and solutions
Speaking of the offering, Arjun says the startup provides edge computing software and devices that are seamlessly integrated with Nymo's video analytics platform. This captures, tracks, manages, and interprets moving objects in a broad range of scenarios. This not only reduces total cost of ownership for the clients but allows them to scale much more efficiently.
One of the key challenges was to educate the marketplace and potential clients. AI has been around for a while and visual AI has been talked about in the recent past, the perception in the marketplace was that it was a “nice to have” and not necessary mission-critical.
“The initial hurdle was to convince our customers that not only could it be critical, but more importantly it could be cost-efficient and could provide a healthy return on investment,” Arjun says.
They overcame this by conducting countless “proof-of-concept” projects to showcase their technology and demonstrate viable, repeatable, and tangible business outcomes. The other thing they did was to partner with system integrators and consultancy firms to get the word out to customers.
“These firms are usually on the forefront of new technology adoption, and this proved to be an important catalyst for us,” Arjun adds.
The space and future
Several startups across different sectors are using AI and computer vision. These include Uncanny Vision, SensoVision Systems, MintM, and IntelloLabs.
Nymo serves clients in retail, hospitality, government sector, and manufacturing. Some of their clients include Jindal Steel, Petoo, BPL, and Ecoprosus. The team has alliance partners such as Protiviti, KPGM, B4b Solutions, and General Aeronautics.
It is only this year that Nymo has started going to market. The startup is privately funded by the co-founders and angel investors. It has closed a seed round and expects to raise a Series A round in 2020.
“We expect to have orders in excess of $ 10,000,000 booked this year. We expected to have revenues of $3,000,000 in 2019 and $6,000,000 in 2020,” says Arjun.
In the coming months, the founders expect customers in Singapore, the UAE, Europe, and the US.
“While the current focus is on solving adoption challenges to make visual AI truly mission-critical, our future plans are centred on providing actionable insights and smarter devices through AI-powered edge computing,” Arjun says.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)