Berlin-based Mobius Labs has closed a €5.2 million (~$6.1M) funding round from increased demand for its computer vision. Ventech VC, Atlantic Labs, APEX Ventures, Space Capital, Lunar Ventures, and some additional angel investors lead the Series A investment. The startup offers an SDK that create custom computer vision models fed with a little of their training data — as an alternative to off-the-shelf tools, which may not have the required specificity for a particular use case. It also flags a ‘no code’ focus, in mind. As it’s an SDK, Mobius Labs’ platform can also be deployed on-premise and on-device — rather than the customer to tap into the AI tool’s utility.
“Our custom training user interface is straightforward to work with and requires no prior technical knowledge on any level,” claims Appu Shaji, CEO and chief scientist. “Over the years, a trend we have observed is that often, the people who get the maximum value from AI are nontechnical personas like a content manager in a press and creative sector. Our no-code AI allows anyone to build their applications, thus enabling these users to get close to their Vision without waiting for AI to help them.” Mobius Labs — founded in 2018 — now has 30 customers using its tools for various use cases.
Uses include categorization, recommendation, prediction, reducing operational expense, and “generallyand audiences to visual content that is most relevant to their needs”. (Press and broadcasting and the stock photography sector have unsurprisingly been big focuses.) But it reckons there’s a broader utility for its tech and is gearing up for growth. It caters to businesses of various sizes, from startups to SMEs, but mainly targets global enterprises with significant content challenges — hence its historical focus on the media sector and video use cases. It’s also targeting geospatial and earth observation applications as it seeks to expand its customer base.
The 30-strong startup has doubled in size over the last 18 months. With the new funding, it’s planning to double its headcount again over the next 12 focusing on Europe and the US. Year-on-year growth has also been 2x, but it believes it can dial that up by tapping into other sectors. “We are working with industries rich in visual data,” says Shaji. “The geospatial sector is something we are focussing on currently as we strongly believe they are producing vast amounts of visual data. However, these enormous archives of raw pixel data are useless.
“For instance, if we want to track how riverfronts are expanding, we have to look at technology we are creating comes in a lightweight SDK and can be deployed directly into these satellites. The raw data can be algorithms. We are currently working with satellite companies in this sector.” On the competitive front, Shaji names Clarifai and it has in its sights.by satellites, sort and tag them to analyze them. Currently, this is being done manually. The
“We realize these are the big players but at the same time believe that we have something unique to offer, which these players cannot: Unlike their solutions, our platform users can be outside the field of computer vision. By democratizing the training ofmodels beyond simply the technical crowd, we are making computer vision accessible and understandable by anyone, regardless of their job titles,” he argues. “Another core value that differentiates us is how we treat client data. Our solutions are delivered in a Kit (SDK), which runs on-premise, completely locally on clients’ systems. No data is ever to us. Our role is to empower people to build applications and make them their own.”
Computer vision startups have been a hot acquisition target in don’t see our clients’ data.. Some earlier startups offering ‘computer vision as a service’ were acquired by IT services firms to beef up their existing offerings. At the same time, tech giants like Amazon and (the aforementioned) their computer vision services. But Shaji suggests the and primed for “mass adoption”. “We’re talking about providing their applications,” he says, summing up the competitive play. “And that [do that] with complete data privacy, where our solutions run on-premise, and we
Coupled with that is our technology’s ease of use: It is a lightweight solution that can be deployed on many ‘edge’like smartphones, laptops, and even satellites.” Commenting on the funding in a statement, Stephan Worries, partner at Ventech VC, added: “Appu and the team at Mobius Labs have in the computer vision space. Superhuman Vision is impressively innovative with its high accuracy despite very limited required training to recognize new objects at excellent computational efficiency. We believe industries will be transformed through AI, and Mobius Labs is the European innovator teaching machines to see.”