An AI-based startup is helping brands tap into human emotions
The Turning Point is a series of short articles that focus on the moment entrepreneurs hit upon their winning idea. This week, we feature Bengaluru-based Entropik that is making technology emotionally interactive through its ground-breaking technology.
On an overcast day in Goa, a young boy is wandering around a pristine landscape. Closely following him is an energetic pug—sounds familiar? If you watched television in the 2000s, chances are that you instantly remembered the iconic Hutch advertisement. That’s the power of effective brand building.
With the penetration of digital technology, marketers today are on the lookout for ways to capture audience attention as well as gauge user’s emotional response instead of relying on chance. This is wherecomes into the picture. It helps businesses understand consumer preferences and how to drive customer-centric experiences.
Bengaluru-based market research company Entropik was founded in February 2016 by Ranjan Kumar (CEO) along with his two co-founders Lava Kumar (CPO) and Bharat Singh Shekhawat (Head of Engineering).
The startup says its USP lies in its AI-powered tools through which it enables research, marketing, and product teams to conduct in-house quantitative and qualitative research.
The Eureka moment
While working at his previous adtech startup Red Castle, Ranjan realised that brands spend more time creating advertisements than incorporating consumer feedback and ensuring that their content resonates with users at an emotional level.
“Forging an emotional connection with consumers or creating emotionally resonating products has been a massive challenge for brands as it requires decoding a consumer's subconsciousness,” states Ranjan
This led him to the idea of creating an emotionally intelligent consumer research platform that offers subconscious insights. He believed that while surveys, focus groups, and interviews only help understand the conscious part of a user's brain, consumer behaviour research powered by emotion recognition technology is required to decode consumers' subconscious.
In the year of inception, the startup raised seed funding of $200,000.
The journey so far
Entropik covers qualitative, quantitative and behavioral analytics as part of consumer research.
The consumer research tools offered by the Entropik platform use proprietary technologies such as Facial Coding, AI-Enabled Eye Tracking, and Voice AI technology.
Facial Coding helps track real-time emotional reactions to ads, videos, and other visual stimuli. It captures facial expressions with the help of a webcam or mobile camera and quantifies these facial expressions into seven emotions and categorizes them as positive and negative emotions.
The eye tracker analyses specific areas of interest to capture various visual metrics. It tracks eye gaze movements of users to know where they look and how long they look. Then it visualises the user's POV with heatmaps and gaze plots to track their attention and engagement levels.
One of Entropik’s clients Tata Sampann, for example, was able to evaluate several package designs for its spice category via its Emotion AI Technology.
Voice AI technology converts speech to text in real-time to transcript qualitative interviews. It takes elements like tonality, acoustics, pauses, pitch and voice into consideration to measure the emotions hidden in speech. It then quantifies and categorizes these emotions into positive, negative and neutral emotions.
The startup caters to more than 150 global clients across sectors such as telecom, BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), media, CPG (consumer packaged goods), FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), and entertainment, among others.
Entropik has 17 global patents in multi-Modal emotion AI technologies like facial coding, eye tracking, and voice AI.
The startup’s products also include Affect Lab, AffectUX, and Decode, supporting end-to-end consumer insights at scale.
Affect Lab is a DIY quantitative behavioral research platform to help users with agile and accurate consumer research. AffectUX is an AI-powered integrated research platform for agile and scalable user research and Decode helps users analyse conversations and drive consumer insights.
Operating as a B2B Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, Entropik claims to have achieved 7X growth over the past 18 months.
About 70% of Entropik’s revenue comes from the United States and Europe, while the rest is generated from India and Southeast Asia. Global peers in Entropik's space include New York-based Hume AI.
“Moving forward, we aim to continue this upward trajectory, setting a new goal of tripling our growth in the next 18 months, equivalent to a 3x increase,” states Ranjan.
“Over a period of time, we have about 20,000 odd apps tested globally. That creates a huge repository of user behavioural data that we are sitting on. Right now, we are more analytical and prescriptive. From there, we want to be a lot more predictive,” Kumar said.
In the past, the IIT-Kharagpur alumni also co-founded other startups Red Castle and online ticket booking platform OyeParty.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti