This woman entrepreneur is on a mission to empower designers to work at 10x efficiency

SaaS platform Kubric leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to supercharge designers and help organisations engage with its audience. Founded by Kausambi Manjita and Barada Sahu in 2018, the startup is backed by venture capital firms Accel Partners and Lightspeed.

This woman entrepreneur is on a mission to empower designers to work at 10x efficiency

Tuesday April 28, 2020,

5 min Read

The amount of information available at our fingertips is narrowing the collective global attention span, according to a study published by the Technical University of Denmark, last year.  


Organisations are increasingly chasing ‘good design’ that can stand out from the sea of information available on virtual platforms. 


Kausambi Manjita and Barada Sahu founded Kubric to fuel this very need in the fast-paced digital world. 


Kubric



Started in 2018, Kubric claims to empower a designer to increase his/her efficiency by 10x by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. The software as a service (SaaS) platform helps digital first companies to quickly adapt and engage with audiences on various platforms with videos, photos, GIFs, and memes.


How Kubric works

The digital world has brought the whole world under its ambit; with a variety of networking platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok gaining in popularity and helping businesses expand to  newer horizons.


Kausambi felt working on Kubric was now-or-never situation. She says, “If you look at a design or creativity space 15 or 20 years ago, all it needed was one broadcast of a good-looking story that will reach out to the audience via one or two platforms. With the digital explosion, the world really changed with so many different channels every day. Consumers are always looking to be engaged with new things.”


An MBA graduate from the Indian School of Business, Kausambi’s last stint was at Myntra working on building its content platform. Of the experience, she says, “At Myntra, I realised even though we have many tools to create videos and banners, they are not efficient production-wise and were not suitable for churning out at a constant speed and freshness on a daily basis.”


For each original work of a design made on software such as Adobe, the startup leverages AI to automate the process and create as many versions and adaptations of the same design. Thus, it can be easily deployed across platforms with various formats like an Instagram feed or a YouTube thumbnail. 

 

By filling the gap of design operation, Kausambi says, the creative minds can work on developing new contents rather than looking after operational tasks of “editing the same set of banners and videos all the time.”


After all, “Not all of AI necessarily replaces human beings. We believe creativity is something that will always need the human eye. So, we are more about supercharging the designer.”

The entrepreneur says that while platforms like Image Relay and Sigma which specialises in the UX/UI design space, the startup prides itself on being able to bring all the content including images, text, and video on a single platform. 


Operating on a subscription-based model, the services are packaged into three categories of starter which can be availed for free, followed by Pro, and Enterprise at $399 and $1299, respectively.



Milestones

Currently headquartered in San Francisco, California, Kubric has offices in Toronto and Bengaluru. Along with startups like Swiggy and Dunzo, the startup has companies across North America and Singapore subscribing to its services.


The startup also worked with e commerce giant Amazon for the annual The Great Indian Festival sale last year. While working on a project of that scale was exciting, Kausambi says they have learnt a lot with regard to their products and processes.


Kubric has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from venture capital firms Lightspeed and Accel Partners as part of its seed round, which was closed last year. The first-time entrepreneur says it was an interesting process where she learnt about structuring the company and solving problems. 


Speaking on pitching to investors and raising funds, Kausambi says, “When you are explaining it to someone else who should be willing to put in millions of dollars, you learn a lot about planning and having the right answers not just for them but for yourself as an entrepreneur.” she adds. 


Learnings in the journey

Kausambi believes she was destined to become an entrepreneur. She ran a YouTube channel on food in 2010 and also built a subscription jewellery brand Jewel Up  in 2014, while dabbling in building mobile applications such as Gup Shop.


As a full-fledged entrepreneur, she believes that determining a problem that one can stay committed to for the next 10 years is crucial. 


“The solution can change and your product may evolve. As you learn more, you add new features and uncover new geographies where you can sell, but the problem remains the same.” 

At the same time, she adds, “I think the most important lesson is how to react to short-term environmental changes while keeping the long-term vision in mind. Today, it is COVID-19, tomorrow one never knows what could happen. I have gone from being an employee to an entrepreneur, so it’s important how one reacts. Keep pushing your team as well as the product forward,” she advises.


Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan