Young Indian entrepreneurs, pioneers
In this week’s edition of “Just Started,” we feature three exciting startups, ranging from areas of contract management to in-depth fake detection. The pandemic has ushered in a digital wave, and upon it are the entrepreneurs of FieldProxy, Kroop.ai and Solvio. They use technology to solve a variety of problems, from managing teams in the field to scoring school exams.
Rationalization of teams in the field, DIY style
This Chennai-based start-up hopes to restore order in the management of field teams
FieldProxy is a SaaS platform that helps field service companies better manage their field teams.
Founders Balakrishna Balasubramanian, BITS-Pilani graduate, and Swaroop Vijayakumar, IIM-Kozhikode graduate, met in 2015 and after their first business, a video news app, closed, launched Codemycompany which offered technology products.
“A few batch colleagues from IIM Kozhikode working in FMCG companies contacted me regarding the difficulty they faced when building teams in the field and wanted to find a way to streamline their sales operations on the terrain, ”explains Vijayakumar.
The duo worked on a project for ITC in 2018 and then worked with many teams to implement their software. “We spent most of 2019 researching, meeting with companies, and understanding the team requirements. We realized this was too big an opportunity to miss and decided to shut down Codemycompany and start Fieldproxy, ”says Vijayakumar. Fieldproxy was officially launched in November 2020.
With Fieldproxy, managers have access to a dashboard that can be modified according to business needs, such as attendance modules, customer verification, and more. The field team will have a mobile application linked to this dashboard. “We’re the only tool in the space that provides an app builder so you can customize your own,” he explains, adding that they provide ongoing basic support.
While the heart of Fieldproxy is still household maintenance and consumer products, it currently has around 35 customers across all industries, including agriculture and diagnostics.
Currently they have a monthly subscription model where customers pay between Rs 400 and Rs 800 per user in the field. The amount changes based on requirements and customizations.
They have also partnered with companies offering complementary services and products, a GPS equipment manufacturing company with 3,000 customers, for example, to help them develop their brand presence and name.
Separate reality from fiction
This anti-deepfake technology start-up aims to help you detect manipulated videos online
In recent years, images of politicians and businessmen making outrageous statements have circulated on the internet, most of which are far from reality. While the visuals may be original, the voices have been manipulated.
Kroop.ai hopes to make finding these manipulations as easy as clicking a button.
“During the election period in the United States, there were a lot of these popular deepfakes going around and I realized there was no specific tool that could validate their authenticity. There is a lot of false information, but it is text-based, ”says founder Jyoti Joshi, a Melbourne-based researcher.
Deepfakes, Joshi explains, are synthetic media generated by artificial intelligence where someone is forced to say and do something by manipulating facial expressions and audio.
Joshi and IIT-Ropar alumni Milan Chaudhari and Sarthak Gupta, who were already working in the tech space, officially created Kroop.ai in February 2021.
“The problem is very specialized and in the Asia-Pacific region there is no company (dealing with it). The threat is new, as is the whole configuration around its detection, ”explains Joshi.
Kroop.ai has an API, a portable version more suitable for large-scale systems that can integrate it into their existing system for verification. It also has a website where any media, file or folder can be downloaded. There are two other access points to the tool: the mobile app and the web scraper, a keyword-based system that scans the medium for potential manipulation.
While the website only provides the likelihood of the video being manipulated, the tool offers a detailed analysis in terms of the percentage of manipulation and what aspects of the video were manipulated. On average, this costs a user $ 1 per minute of video analysis.
The founders say they are currently focused on the B2B market and are in talks with banking, corporate and strategy companies. The company has seen a demand for the tool in the BFSI industry with an increasing number of video KYCs.
Kroop.ai is currently in talks with two fact-checking companies, a US-based cybersecurity company and a leading private bank in India. It received its first funding from 100x.vc in May 2021.
Teachers’ patience will no longer be “tested”, thanks to Solvio
Edtech companies can incorporate the API for grading of selected subjects, Grades 1 to 12
Only a teacher knows how tedious it is to read and write children’s homework. So, what if there was an AI robot to help them? Solvio is just that.
It allows students to take a photo of their paper, upload it, and get instant feedback using the startup’s API.
Founders and cousins Rohit Pentapati and Raviteja Manepalli, and a family member, a Bengaluru-based math teacher, spoke about the nightmare of document scoring that made them think about automating the process. The two quit their jobs in June 2019 and went to work.
Officially launched in December 2020, the founders initially thought about selling it to schools. Solvio was incubated at IIM Bangalore and initially offered to international schools. When the pandemic hit and schools closed, the founders adapted by pivoting their business model to offer the technology as an API to other high tech companies. “We could let them integrate our technology into their products and bring it to market through already established channels,” says Pentapati. They got their chance when a New York-based company showed interest in their product.
The duo started improving the product based on feedback and hired contractors to structure the raw data to form the AI bot. They also hired people with machine learning training from IIT Kanpur to refine the product.
With online education becoming mainstream due to Covid-19, the opportunities are plentiful, says Pentapati. Most online assessments are based on multiple choice questions, but with Solvio, students can handwrite detailed answers and let the AI robot grade them. It also allows for a blended learning experience. Currently, the start-up is focusing on math, science and social studies from grades 1 to 12.
Today the product is used by 12 edtech companies. Eventually, they also plan to conquer the schools.
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