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HyperVerge Raises $1 Million In Seed Funding From American VCs

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In 2010, while he was in second year at IIT, Kedar Kulkarni, CEO and co-founder, HyperVerge, co-founded his first company, Lema Labs, which has become a leading robotics education company in South India. In IIT-Madras, he represented India at the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) in 2009 and 2010.

In 2014, he teamed up with four other IITians (IIT-Madras) Vignesh Krishnakumar (CTO), Kishore Natarajan (User Growth), Saivenkatesh Ashokkumar (Engineering) and Praveen Kumar (Product) to develop artificial intelligence which deals with teaching computers to mimic the behaviour of the human brain.
The Seed Funding
HyperVerge, a deep-learning startup by IIT-Madras graduates, announced that it has raised $1 million in seed funding from several US venture capital firms, including NEA, Milliways Ventures and Naya Ventures.

In 2014, HyperVerge went to US to do a Kickstarter campaign, where people made them realized the prominence of their product.
"We didn't visit US for seed funding, our intention was to do a kickstarter campaign in the US. We were hoping to raise about $50,000 through crowd-funding. We thought it will be just enough to build a basic app.  Through conversations with mentors from IIT Madras Alumni community, we realised that the technology developed by the team was a lot more valuable than we earlier thought. It also became very clear that HyperVerge will need backing of strong and supportive VCs for us to be a serious contender in the space of deep-learning".
The App
Silver, the first smartphone application developed by the company helps users automatically organise their photos, eliminate poor quality photos and duplicates, and share their best photos. Optimized self-learning algorithms produce results that are real-time and highly accurate to ensure users find the photos(s) they are looking for within just a few seconds.
Kittu Kolluri, General Partner at NEA, said, “They have strong ambitions and the potential to achieve them—the technology developed by the company can span out as useful applications for consumers, enterprises and developers. We are thrilled to partner with HyperVerge to bring innovative deep-learning solutions to users and prospective partners.”
"Working with a budget of under six lakh, we were able to create classifiers for identification of people, scenes, events and unique patterns in images", said Kedar Kulkarni, CEO and co-founder of HyperVerge. "We believe that our image recognition technology can be the foundation for several breakthrough consumer applications in the near future".

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(Poonam Kumar)