published 24 Jan 2015 in Romania 4 minutes 54 seconds to read

Imagga

For the Bulgarian team "everything is up to your imagg-ination". Their aim is to take image analysis technologies to the next level by providing easy solutions to organise and annotate pictures. Meet the team in our Startup Pick.

About us. 

Our one-line pitch is…
Imagga is an Image Recognition Platform-as-a-Service providing Image Tagging APIs. We enable developers and businesses to build scalable and monetizable image intensive apps in the cloud. Imagga provides picture tools for businesses to easily understand, annotate and thus better monetize images.

The core of our team…
Imagga currently employs seven people. As we consider ourselves a technology based company, the engineering team is quite strong. Two of Imagga's founders are hardcore image recognition researchers with vast experience in deep learning, image segmentation, shape matching, visual similarity search, web and API frameworks, cloud platforms, mobile development, etc. On the funny side - our growth director Chris has nearly finished B.Sc. in Theology besides his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. Our creative mind Pavel has worked as a DJ long time ago and also served as a National Guard during his military service. CEO Georgi has been a parachute lander and karate player in high school.

Our office in looks like…
It’s a bit messy and not polished as some startup offices we see on the news. We believe our office is quite important part in terms of productivity, but as boys-only company we have not spent much time making it outstandingly tidy. We love it the way it is. There’s a big wooden table and comfy and ergonomic Ahrend office chairs. We are actually co-sharing office with our great investors, LAUNCHub (we occupy second half floor). What’s good in this case is our office overlooks our investors space. Since a few weeks we also have a tennis table that we bought together with VC guys as most of us are quite enthusiastic (and skilled) players.

The person that inspires us most…
Quite popularly, Steve Jobs’ drive for innovation, determination and perfectionism is something that inspires all of us. Some of us also get their inspiration from the teachings and the spiritual teachers of the East. Among the people who are currently alive we highly admire Elon Musk for his ambition to revolutionise conservative or challenging industries and for his philanthropy and humbleness.

About our jouney so far. 

Before we started we were…
Chris and Pavel were working their asses off on web projects in their Web Gravity studio, for Bulgarian, Swiss and American customers. Got lots of expertise working on web projects for companies like Swiss Air, Jaguar, Swisscom. 
Georgi has worked for one of the largest system integrators Kontrax, and then for the game development studio Haemimont Games. 
Stavri has been a research post doc fellow at Bristol University and run his visual attention tracking startup Attentive Displays. 
Chris met Georgi at OpenCoffee meetups and started exchanging ideas about the image recognition technology Georgi was developing. After several meetups it was a mutual agreement Imagga can become a leader in image recognition.

We received our initial capital through…
After working on the original idea in our spare time for about an year and winning several business plan competitions we got acceleration money from the Greek micro-seed fund Openfund. It helped to fully commit on the project and draft the first public version of Imagga’s image recognition technology. An year ago we’ve got seed funding from LAUNCHub together with several angel investors. The money were invested in the major improvement of the advanced underlying technology and packing it up for the growing customer base.

Our most difficult time so far was...
As every startup we are strongly convinced in the power and the value of the product we are working on. The hardest thing for us was to find product market fit for what we offer. For years nobody was convinced AI will be ever able to replace human efforts when it comes to image analysis and organization. Only recently people started to talk again about machine learning and neural-networks and how this can be used to substantially improve image organisation. Onboarding big corp clients is quite a challenge for us as it’s complex and long process.

About little steps and big dreams. 

Our next target is…
Multiple exciting updates of the technology are pending – much more concepts and objects to be recognized with even higher levels of precision. On the product side, we are preparing a super-nice surprise for the people who need to extensively tag photos for commercial use. On the business side we are opening new verticals, and the one we are most excited about currently is big data analysis, we’ll announce a partnership there in the upcoming days.

First and foremost our vision and longing to make images discoverable and understandable.

If you say investment we say…
We are currently looking for next round of investment that will enable us tо land and expand to the USA market, where most of our users and customer are coming from even currently. The right type of VC for us would have strong experience and network in SaaS/PaaS cloud businesses and imaging.

The one thing, we couldn't go on without is…
First and foremost our vision and longing to make images discoverable and understandable even when there are in huge volumes is what keep us working hard every day. We keep our bodies in active mode with fitness, table tennis or running.

Our current development state is…
We released the first advanced version of our auto-tagging API in May last year. Since then we started to onboard users and customers and we are continuously releasing updates and features based on popular demand, as well as building multiple demo tools, some of them with the potential to grow in stand-alone products.

In five years we want to be…
We are on the track of building a scalable SaaS/PaaS business that would change the way images are managed, understood, and monetised. Aiming for an IPO in three to five years.

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