In a seed financing round, AI-driven startup, Gaze, recently announced that it had secured US$830,000 in equity from venture capitalist Anchorless Bangladesh, and from a current angel investor, Mohammad Maaz.
Co-founded in 2018 by Shehzad Noor Taus Priyo and Motasim Rahman, Gaze runs an API (application programming interface) for visual recognition technologies such as face and product recognition, as well as multilingual OCR (optical character recognition).
Headquartered in Singapore, Gaze has 23 employees from diverse backgrounds across Canada, Singapore and Bangladesh. Commenting on their startup’s goals CEO Taus shared that “Our goal is to get any developer to ‘Hello World’ in under five minutes. The way we do that is by building the best developer experience and iterating on community feedback. We believe very strongly in the power of open source communities; they have, time in and time again, changed the world for the better.”
Unlike other visual recognition companies in the market, as a strong proponent of open-source software, Gaze prioritizes using its API to build a network of open-source software suites. Noor shares that Gaze has already reached out to open-source developers and communities, who will have the opportunity to try out their API for free.
Elaborating on their strategy, Noor shared with Tech in Asia that “We believe our competitors are too focused on B2B sales, ignoring the end-user of the product, who are the developers. At the end of the day, open-source communities play the biggest role in defining which technologies really take off at scale (especially for APIs).”
Among many other companies that they have worked with since its inception, Gaze has collaborated with law enforcement agencies to enhance traffic management, a defence agency to aid in 24/7 security of their headquarters, and major factories to monitor the daily in- and outflow of vehicles.
The face recognition market is valued at approximately US$4 billion in 2020 with an annual growth forecasted at 15%. With their decision to delve more in this market, Gaze is currently formulating various pricing schemes such as a pay-as-you go option as well as a freemium subscription for curious users and developers.
With the other members of Gaze’s leadership – Chief Technology Officer Kevin Pierce and Chief of Research Nabeel Mohammed – having deep expertise in their respective domains, the company is led by a team with a wealth of competencies gained from previous professional experiences, amongst them include Nvidia, IBM and Picatic (one of Eventbrite’s acquired companies).