• Russia’s Venture-Capital Funds Look Abroad

    21.06.2016 News

    WallStreetJournal An economic crisis and Western sanctions are prompting funds to seek better opportunities overseas.

    Moscow—Russian venture-capital funds are shifting their gaze to outside the country, contributing to an exodus of capital amid an economic crisis and Western sanctions.

    A robust startup scene emerged in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and venture-capital funds followed closely behind. New companies sprung from the scientific and academic communities Russia nourished during the Cold War, including Doroga TV, a vehicle-tracking GPS service, and Kuznech, an app that allows customers to shop by browsing online images. But funding is now looking for better opportunities outside Russia.

    Many funds are opening offices abroad or focusing on foreign companies. Moscow-based venture-capital fund Maxfield Capital, for instance, opened offices in Tel Aviv, London and New York earlier this year.

    Some VC firms are choosing to leave Russia altogether, saying the country doesn’t allow entrepreneurship to thrive.
    “It is just morally hard to be in a depressing atmosphere, with a very aggressive state…pushing the society to reject anybody who thinks differently,” said Vladislav Solodkiy, managing partner at Life.Sreda VC, a Russian fund that moved to Singapore from Moscow about a year ago.

    Read more…

  • Kuznech presented its Retail Recognition service for merchandising audit on the RussianRetailWeek 2016

    09.06.2016 News

    On June, 8, 2016 Kuznech participated in the RussianRetailWeek, a large-scale industry event with the participation of business and government.

    The goal of RRW is to form main directions of retail industry development, determine basic approaches to the development of multi-format retail, review and resolve industry bottlenecks.

    At the Retail’s World Exhibition, which showcased the industry’s most advanced technologies for retail development, Kuznech successfully presented its retail recognition service for merchandising audit, hence supporting the simultaneously running expert discussion of Mobile technologies in auditing and merchandising for the retail.

    Such questions as:
    – Capabilities of mobile technologies in auditing retailers
    – Integration case of mobile audit in the largest Russian retail chains: problems and solutions
    – Human factor vs Mobile audit
    were all illustrated and partly answered by Kuznech’s demo system of its Retail Recognition service.

    Learn more about the service.

  • RBTH Listed Kuznech Among The Most Promising Tech Companies

    03.02.2016 News

    RBTH (Russia Beyond The Headlines) presented their new Russian Startups Rating that features the most promising young tech companies for the international arena.
    The rating system is based on the following criteria:
    Audience Interest;
    Unique Idea;
    Commercial Potential;
    Social Impact.
    During the selection process, the startups had to satisfy certain requirements, such as the number of international customers interested in the service or product, impact on society and the environment, publications in the international media, and much more.

    KUZNECH is on the list too. Congratulations to us!

    Together Everyone Achieves More

  • Mobile Internet Users to Top 2 Billion Worldwide in 2016 (IDC)

    21.12.2015 News

    The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that 3.2 billion people, or 44% of the world’s population, will have access to the Internet in 2016. Of this number, more than 2 billion will be using mobile devices to do so. But what are the world’s Internet users doing online? A new IDC infographic, How the World Uses the Internet, looks at the global Internet population and some of its online activities.

    Growth in Internet access is taking place around the world, but some countries are seeing particularly rapid growth. China, India, and Indonesia lead the way and will account for almost half of the gains in access globally over the course of the next five years. The combination of lower-cost devices and inexpensive wireless networks are making accessibility easier in countries with populations that could not previously afford them.

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    Read more and view infographic

  • Russian face control technology sets sights on global markets

    23.09.2015 News

    Intense competition between Facebook and the Russian social network, Odnoklassniki, has given the visual recognition technology start-up, Kuznech, a chance to firmly establish itself on the Russian market and to enter the U.S. Market.

    The Russian-American startup, Kuznech, was founded in 2010, and since then the company has won 10 international IT awards. In 2014, its revenues reached $700,000.
    Kuznech’s success story began in 2012 when Facebook bought the face detection technology provider, Face.com. The latter then recalled its license from the Russian social network, Odnoklassniki, a popular competitor to Facebook on the local market. Kuznech, which is based in Boston and San Francisco, moved quickly to occupy that niche.

    Technology inspired by insects
    The company’s name derives from the Russian word for “grasshopper,” and the technology it uses truly has much in common with the green insect. Grasshoppers have multiple eyes and they see the world as a picture consisting of numerous dots. “Our technology is powered by neural networks that represent simplified models of the nervous system of living organisms,” said company co-founder, Michael Pogrebnyak. “In other words, the principles that our technology is based on are very similar to the processes that take place during visual recognition in the human brain: learning, generalization, abstraction.”

    The idea behind the technology belongs to one of the company’s co-founders, Alexander Valencia Campo. He was developing computer games and constantly came up against the problem of searching for similar images of illustrations. Initial investment in the project was $500,000, with a further $750,000 invested in 2011-2012 by the Skolkovo Foundation.
    Kuznech currently offers eight products, and the main ones are visual search and recognition for images and videos, as well as mobile recognition. The company holds four patents; one in Russia and three in the U.S.

    Future in medicine
    Kuznech’s main clients are news agencies, online stores, and social networks. The company’s development center is based in St Petersburg, and the big names on the Kuznech’s client list include Mail.ru Group (Russia), and PartsTown (USA). There are different ways to monetize the technology for various products. Annual non-exclusive licenses are the main one.
    On the world market, especially in North America, many competitors offer similar technology, such as Idee. According to Pogrebnyak, however, the advantage of Kuznech’s technology is that it’s practically universal and can be built into different applications.

    Pogrebnyak is convinced that this technology has huge potential in analyzing medical images. “We are trying to detect melanomas and other skin growths, and we plan to set up a melanoma cell detector for doctors,” added Pogrebnyak. “However, things have been rather slow as investors like the idea but are in no hurry to put money into it.”
    Konstantin Vinogradov, an analyst with Runa Capital venture fund, believes that one of the most crucial challenges for startup companies in this field is lack of scalable, profitable and unoccupied market niches. “Kuznech can capture a part of the international market if it focuses on a few cases that its competitors haven’t, but it will be difficult because there are already a lot of players on the U.S. market and local players from Southeast Asia,” Vinogradov said.

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    You can try Kuznech’s Face Detection and Face Recognition demo here: http://facedetection.kuznech.com/

    Read article оn rbth.com

  • Brand Spotting in Sporting Events: How to Measure Your Brand Presence in Videos and Images

    23.06.2015 News

    Sports sponsorship is used by companies to enhance corporate image, increase brand awareness, and win global recognition with high-value consumer. According to IEG, sport sponsorships will be worth $40B worldwide in 2015. While the sponsorship industry continues to expand, robust measurement activities often lag behind. Thus, feedback on how frequently the logo is actually displayed within the sports video and/or social media images is truly valuable for the advertising industry. Advanced visual search technologies enable you to automatically detect and recognize logos in the high-motion setting of sports videos and create a report containing various kinds of statistics like: frequency of recognized logos, their visibility time and their locations in the video, – which, in turn, allows for advertisement efficiency verification.

    Check out the White paper

    Get access to demos

    Branddetector

  • The Power Of Earned Media In Social Images

    12.04.2015 News

    Brands are spending large amounts of money on sponsorships, in particular in sports, which are seen as a unique way of engaging emotionally with fans. Ideally the brand will be featured prominently in an image of a star player scoring a key goal for the home side and reap the benefits of being connected to a moment of collective glory. Anecdotally brands get “a lot” of exposure for their sponsorships of teams and athletes via images shared on social media, but up till now, no one has been able to quantify this valuable audience.
    Luckily for brands, the convergence of existing computer vision technology and the recent advances in machine learning are changing the game. Large-scale analysis of social media images to identify brand logos and gather useful information about audience and engagement is now emerging as a credible approach to earned media measurement, especially for sport sponsorship. It is now possible to look inside the image to detect faces, objects and brand logos at a scale, speed and accuracy that was impossible a few years ago. These new approaches reveal huge audiences and high levels of engagement that were previously invisible.
    The new services available from companies like Kuznech, combined with inexpensive cloud computing puts brand-spotting within reach for brand managers. Kuznech can do brand, logo, face recognition on images, as well as on videos.
    Widespread adoption of these new technologies will change the way earned media is measured. Brands will have new ways to measure the ROI of their sponsorship dollars and engage directly with the audience that is already emotionally connected to their brand. Brands, agencies, teams and events that grasp these tools now will lead in the future.

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  • Kuznech Mobile Recognition Debut: Parts Town Launches App Upgrade With PartsMATCH™

    02.04.2015 News

    Parts Town, a market leader in restaurant equipment parts distribution, launched their latest innovation: the entirely redone Parts Town app with revolutionary PartsMATCH parts identification technology and a dramatically improved in-app shopping experience.

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    PartsMATCH 1.0 utilizes cutting edge image recognition algorithms to compare customer-submitted pictures of a part against hundreds of thousands of PartSPIN images to find a match. While the technology is in its infancy and still evolving, Parts Town is committed to pushing the envelope with unique customer solutions.
    The image recognition engine was developed by Kuznech Inc, a company that creates object recognition technologies for m-commerce. “Image recognition is being used in fields like national security, social networking, and retail. As we’ve done with other industry innovations such as PartSPIN, we applied an external technology to solve a parts-related problem”, said Mike O’Shea, Parts Town’s Director of Ecommerce. “This feature, developed by Kuznech, reinforces our commitment to drive the industry forward, and we will continue to refine and improve it over the coming months”.
    PartsMATCH Assistant applies a human touch to the same parts identification challenge. Customers can submit parts identification requests right from the app, including pictures of the part, then receive push notifications direct to their device as soon as a PartsMATCH specialist has located their matching part. “At Parts Town we are committed to helping each of our customers find the right OEM part for their equipment. Pictures are often extremely helpful in the parts identification process, and PartsMATCH Assistant combines great technology and great people to get answers to customers faster than ever before”, said Steve Snower, President of Parts Town.
    Significant shopping and speed improvements were also incorporated into the new app. “Technicians and operators need access to parts technology on the go now more than ever, and the all-new Parts Town app is an indispensable tool for our increasingly mobile customers”, added Snower. Initially on iOS only, an Android version will be available soon.

    Read more about Parts Town App

  • Kuznech develops all-purpose image search tools for businesses

    29.05.2014 News

    Facebook alone claimed that that it received 7 petabytes worth of photo content monthly and 300 million photos per day from users in 2012 and that those figures were continually increasing. Attempting to search through photos on that and other sites is an enormous task, but Russian-founded Kuznech attempts to satisfy that need by offering companies technology such as facial-recognition and detection, similar-image search (by color and other parameters), duplicate-image search, and visual merchandise monitoring.

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  • The 20 Hottest Startups in Russia

    14.11.2013 News

    Previously defined by the way it cloned western companies, Russia is gradually becoming a place where its undoubtedly strong education and engineering standards are blending with original entrepreneurship.

    The Russian startup scene is buoyed by the impressive Skolkovo project, which already incubates more than 1 000 domestic and foreign startups from its campus in Moscow.

    Read this article