From streamlining various enterprise processes to helping in deciding the recipes in the kitchen, artificial intelligence and machine learning are being largely explored. However, there is this one startup that is occupying a unique space of EmotionAI. Founded in 2016, this might be the only startup exploring this avenue in India.
We are talking about the Bengaluru-based Entropik Tech, that is helping brands to measure the cognitive and emotional response of consumers towards product experiences and optimising these experiences to resonate emotionally with the consumer. The team believes that people rely on emotions more than anything else to make their purchase decisions, and are therefore exploring the power of AI to tap into the emotional perspective of customers.
Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Ranjan Kumar, founder and CEO of Entropik Tech, a part of Accenture Ventures Cohort, Viacom18 VStep, SAP and Plug n Play accelerator program, to know more about their technology, AI play and growth plan.
“I believe humans and AI can only co-exist if we are able to make AI emotionally perceptive. EmotionAI has the ability to recognise human emotions and a better capacity to interact with people and meet their needs,” says Kumar.
Let’s take a sneak peek into how they are exploring the applications of EmotionAI in various avenues such as recruitment, medical diagnosis, assistance, loan evaluation, customer service, passenger safety policy, optimisation of ROI for marketers and more.
Branding With Emotion
It was when Kumar was managing his previous AdTech startup, Red Castle that he realised that brands spend more time creating advertisements than incorporating consumer feedback and making sure that their content resonates with users at an ‘emotional level’. Forging an emotional connection with consumers or creating emotionally resonating products has been a huge challenge for brands as it requires decoding a consumer’s sub-consciousness.
This is what led him to the idea of creating an emotionally intelligent consumer research platform that offers valuable subconscious insights. “While surveys, focus groups and interviews only help to understand the conscious part of a user’s brain, it requires consumer behaviour research powered by Emotion Recognition technology to decode consumer’s subconscious,” he said.
Entropik Tech’s product, Affect Lab, is the only platform for consumer behaviour research where brands can access Emotion Recognition Technologies including EEG, facial and eye tracking — together in a combination or separately on a single dashboard. With this product the startup is empowering brands to:
- Explore consumers’ feelings towards their products, content and design
- Tap into their consumer’s unspoken, unarticulated, subconscious decision-making process
- Understand the key drivers of consumer’s buying behavior
The online SaaS platform, Affect Lab is a one-stop emotion intelligence platform that facilitates integrated workflows to support end-to-end consumer research. It is designed in a way to help consumer brands decode consumers’ subconscious emotional response to advertising content, products, and services, and gain insights on what drives their purchase decisions.
It can be availed on subscription by signing up digitally or can be deployed via APIs, which can be integrated into various platforms to assess emotions in real-time.
Kumar co-founded Entropik Tech with Bharat Shekhawat and later Lava Kumar also joined the management team.
Emotional Recognition Tech And AI
While traditional market research often fails to capture the emotions behind consumers’ purchase decisions, Entropik’s platform provides the quickest and most accessible route to understand how someone thinks, acts, and feels. Being physiological, the measurements are unbiased and consistent, making them robust indicators of behavioural processes and provide an unfiltered window into how an individual’s responds.
They are able to do so with the help of AI. As Kumar shares, they have over 2 million datasets on how individuals of various SEC and demographics react to different experiences. They have assimilated these learnings through an Emotion AI Engine which predicts likely reaction of a user group towards any stimulus.
“Our platform is deployed on AWS Cloud. For deep learning and data modelling, we use a mix of machine learning algorithms and CNN,” adds Kumar.
How The Technology Works- Use Cases
Various brands across industry verticals such as FMCG, media, automotive, education, healthcare, e-commerce, advertising, banking and several others use their EmotionAI platform for consumer behavior research. They also work with market research firms as their technology partner.
With their technology, they have helped various brands gain more for every dollar they spend on marketing. For instance, when a brand tests its TV commercials, their metrics are designed to help them in three ways:
- Optimise ad content to create emotional resonance, thereby increasing their social shareability
- Predict performance of each version of the ad, thereby helping brands optimise the allocation of promotional budgets to each
- Eliminating ads that can be insensitive and a deterrent to the brand image by quickly testing the ad in different markets, among different demographic segments
Kumar shares other use cases such as:
- In Media research for testing audio, video, digital or print advert, testing movie trailer optimisation and TV show promo testing
- In UI/UX testing such as competitive benchmarking, website, app or game usability audit
- Others such as emotion-based automotive experience, chatbot conversation testing, consumer satisfaction measure, package testing, natural environment testing and more.
Some of their clients include GroupM, ITC, Myntra, IMRB, Kadence, Bankbazaar.com, Essilor, CavinKare, Xiaomi, TATA Chemicals, UB Group, Viacom18, TAM Media Research among others.
Growth Story And The Way Ahead
The team has been able to witness a remarkable growth overcoming some of the challenges they faced during the initial days. As Kumar notes, during early stages, the biggest challenge was to get high quality resources with a vision to work on something challenging and unsolved.
“Once we were able to move past the MVP and POCS, a lot of our resources got invested in continually educating new customers and customising the product to fit different industry needs”, he said.
Since then the startup has been able to raise $1.1 million in a pre-series A funding led by BIF and co-invested by IDFC- Parampara, Arthavida Ventures and Jitendra Gupta (MD, PayU). Kumar shares that the company plans to utilise this capital to penetrate new industry verticals and reach a wider global market.
They have added more than 50 clients from across India and globally across US, Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore.