Chennai-CA based artificial intelligence start-up Mad Street Den Systems Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round from Sequoia Capital India and its existing investors Exfinity Venture Partners LLP and GrowX Venture Management Pvt. Ltd.
Founded in 2013 by husband-wife duo Anand Chandrasekaran, a neuroscientist and a Stanford alumni, and Ashwani Asokan, a former Intel Corp. executive, the Chennai-based start-up had earlier raised $1.5 million in January 2015 from Exfinity Ventures and growX Ventures. Anand and Ashwani have had spent more than 25 years combined working in the U.S.
“Mad Street Den is a pioneer in what we think of as the next wave of AI start-ups, which will be capable of making versatile intelligence possible with small data sets, and yield magical results. Significant learning, and not just label training is at the heart of these start-ups, which are only now beginning to emerge,” said Gautam Mago, managing director at Sequoia Capital India Advisors.
Post this funding, the company now plans to deploy the funds to expand further into global markets. Beyond developing its core AI technology, Mad Street Den has focused on developing products for e-commerce via its Vue.ai sub brand which is a platform that helps fashion e-tailers provide visual recommendations to consumers.
The company claims to have a pipeline of more than 100 clients in India, West Asia and the US. In India, it counts fashion e-tailers such as Craftsvilla and Voonik as clients.
Similar to what Mad Street is doing in computer vision and A.I., there are other startups globally trying to crack visual search. Visual search start-ups help companies enable their users to discover products online, based on photos of objects in the real world. In India, companies such as iLenze (which raised $500,000 in funding last year) and SnapShopr (which raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding) offer visual search platforms.