Chennai and US-based artificial Intelligence startup has received strategic investment from KIDDI Corporation of Japan. The funds have been routed through KIDDI’s investment arm, KDDI Open Innovation Fund 2.
Mad Street Den was founded by Aswini Asokan and Anand Chandrasekhar after they moved to India from the US in 2013 to build an AI company that made the technology accessible and something that has practical use to it.
MSD started off with looking at one part of the retail business where it helped both online and brick and mortar retailers in the US improve product discovery, personalisaiton, engaging customers, increasing customers for merchants and increasing customer engagement using AI and computer vision. It has built an AI stack for retail under its brand Vue.ai
“KDDI Japan announces its investment in MadStreetDen enabling growth of Vue.ai across Asia. These are exciting times for both Computer Vision & Retail, and we're thrilled to GTM in new markets with 2 of our newest investors Global Brain-KDDI & Rocketship VC (SF),” MSD tweeted, while announcing the investment.
Vue.AI, as per a statement from KIDDI, is a one-stop Artificial Intelligence and Image Recognition platform for apparel retailers who are experiencing drastic operational changes due to rapidly increasing penetration of online commerce.
The other big advantage the Vue.Ai software program offers the retailers of apparels is the ability to digitally manage their catalogues. Within this, there are features like auto-tagging, descriptions of the dresses, titles and other details that help with searching of products and presenting to the buyers in seconds. This used to consume a lot of time earlier. Some of the errors in the conventional system of maintaining catalogues, like duplicate entries etc. have also been eliminated with this new technology.
Vue.ai's algorithms also analyze the extracted catalog data with user behavior and help the retailers' marketing/ product/ cataloging teams not only to automate their processes and reduce costs but also to drive conversions and to increase revenues. With the solution, fashion brands can provide their customers with a great user experience in online shopping, such as good retrieval accuracy or "AI stylist" which is an AI-based styling and outfitting solution.
MSD counts brands like Levis, large retailers like Macy’s and several ecommerce companies like TataCliq, The Label Life, ThredUp, Namshi and more.
KIDDI sees some synergy in making this investment in MSD by expanding its offerings to its customers.
While MSD started operations in Chennai, India, it officially moved out of India and now focuses primarily on US, Europe and Middle East.
It last raised funds from Sequoia capital an undisclosed Series A round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India in 2016 and saw participation from existing investors Exfinity Ventures and growX Ventures.
MSD is also one of the only two Indian startups to feature in Bloomberg list of the world’s 50 most promising start-ups in 2017.