YOUPLUS: EMPOWERING BRANDS TO ENHANCE THE CONSUMER EXPERIENCE THROUGH VIDEOS
Youplus is a cutting-edge technology innovation company that helps brands understand their consumers better.
In recent years, much of content marketing shifted to video streaming. Digital marketing expert James McQuivey estimates that a single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words. It is one of the unique kinds of online material that provides the value, relevance and flexibility consumers need, all while catering to the on-the-go lifestyle they want. This also presents opportunities for businesses to inspire, evoke emotion and appeal to the needs of their audiences in a real and authentic way.
As the video landscape began to evolve drastically in the last couple of years, Youplus entered the market with the world’s first Video Opinion Intelligence Engine in 2016. The innovation uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to surface insights and tells us why people think, feel, and act the way they do. It unlocks and indexes the world’s opinions from videos, making opinion content searchable, and turning market research into search.
Shaukat Shamim, Founder & CEO
A serial entrepreneur and technologist, Shaukat Shamim is the Founder and CEO of Youplus and is currently leading video AI innovation here. He previously founded successful billion-dollar ventures like Buysight, a self-serve marketplace company, and
Rhythm Newmedia, one of the first mobile advertising companies in the AdTech industry. Shaukat initiated his career at Symantec and moved on to Yahoo! to create the iconic Yahoo! Messenger. In academics, he did graduation with computer science from The University of Texas at Austin.
K P Nadig, Co-Founder & India Head
KP is a Marketing pioneer with over 30+ years of experience and is currently supporting the holistic growth of Youplus. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he was a Product, Business Development & Marketing Leader with a strong background in operations. He has helped lead and manage growth from seed stage through Pre-IPO with P&L responsibility for $500m revenue run rate businesses. With a diverse international career, KP has been a CEO, VP of Business Development, Director Engineering Services, CMO and COO, which uniquely positions him to lead product, business development, and marketing for technology companies.
Anand Srinivasan, Chief Technology Officer
An elite technocrat with deep expertise in building data architectures, Anand Srinivasan is positioned as Chief Technology Officer at Youplus. He is currently supporting the company takes a quantum leap with innovative AI products. He was an early member of Yahoo! and created market-disruptive products like Yahoo! Finance, My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Chat, and others. He was also a senior architect at global firms like Spotify, Buysight, and Rhythm New Media and an alumnus of Karnataka University.
Ravi Melgiri, Chief Customer Officer
A seasoned senior executive with over twenty-five years of experience in running technology firms, Ravi Melgiri is the Chief Customer Officer of Youplus. Here, he is focused on building consistent global sales and scaling customer-facing operations. Earlier, Ravi was the part of the executive launch team for SAP’s Public Sector and SAP HANA enterprise cloud business. As the COO of the India subcontinent, Ravi was responsible for the overall operations of a $500M business.
INNOVATIVE SERVICES OFFERED BY YOUPLUS
Youplus currently offers two AI-driven solutions in the Indian Market:
VISION: VISION is an AI-driven Market Intelligence Platform designed for brands to make better decisions. It helps democratize access to insights and intelligence from billions of hours of video opinions, fundamentally disrupting Market Research with AI-powered automation.
VIEW: VIEW is an AI-driven Customer Experience Platform designed for businesses to have better conversations with customers. VIEW democratizes data by enabling Consumer Video Experience Channels in the form of automated short-form video Q&A or reviews on any web page.
INITIAL PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS
Understanding humans and their emotions have always been rather difficult. Humans are diverse, having different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, thinking and expressing differently.
Shaukat Shamim shares, “Initially, when we started, the major challenge was training the models with different types of video data sets to help the engine understand the nuances of human expression. The bigger challenge was arriving at not what they say but what they mean. So we developed a model to understand the differences and similarities of expression efficiently. Our models are continuously evolving and learning from new video data to provide accurate results”.
“Another business challenge was bringing people out of the comfort zones of the past. Most brands were predominantly accustomed to using traditional research methods and skeptical of technology taking over research. However, today, the growing awareness of AI and the advancement of our tech capabilities have helped us establish Youplus in the market,” adds Shaukat.
AI DRIVEN SERVICES FOR ICONIC BRANDS
Youplus is targeting brands, publishers, and agencies with AI-driven video solutions for market research and consumer engagement to help brands speed-up decision making and drive consistent consumer engagement via video to improve overall customer experience. Youplus offers world-class AI-driven solutions to more than 800 iconic brands across multiple industries around the globe. The most notable clients include Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, PepsiCo, Amazon, Tyson, OnePlus, and others. It is planning the same in the Indian market.
TEAM AND OFFICE INFRASTRUCTURE
Youplus has an extremely talented and youthful workforce of data scientists, software engineers, developers, researchers, sales, and marketing executives. The company is in a hyper-growth mode and is continuously expanding at all of its global locations. It is headquartered in Rockefeller Center, New York, and has offices in San Francisco, Chicago, London, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Its largest operational ground is in India, particularly Bangalore. The modern five-story office houses all of the prime business functions.
“Youplus fosters a diverse environment that nurtures innovation while helping individuals take initiatives, experiment, learn, and maximize their true potential. Our philosophy emphasizes exponential growth for everyone, equally. Everyone makes an impact that matters” asserts Shaukat.
DRIVING FACTORS FOR GROWTH
“The rise of video, the digital transformation of businesses along with the emergence of AI and Machine Learning are key factors that fuel our business growth”, Shaukat proudly says.
Today, almost 80% of the internet is video. As the video landscape is evolving dramatically, consumers are increasingly sharing their opinions, thoughts, emotions, and experiences in the video. There is a wealth of insights locked inside videos, but it is a black box, almost inaccessible for brands. But how does brand access meaningful insights from the pool of videos? Youplus is democratizing access to insights from a video at efficient costs, scale, and speed. Businesses want to harness the benefits of AI and the team is here to help them understand their consumers with the power of video AI technology.
PROGRESS IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The advanced algorithms we use in AI today have had a predominant existence for decades. Back in the days, the algorithms required powerful computers to store and process massive data sets. But as industries have progressed digitally, the storage costs have decreased considerably, the availability of computation power required for these algorithms have become more practical with powerful GPUs and TPUs. This shift has given way for the rapid advancement of AI in the past decade, particularly the last couple of years.
THE CURRENT SCENARIO OF AI
Today, AI is a common synonym for the future. However, most people talk about AI very cautiously. I believe that AI will develop to introduce a lot more efficiencies into businesses, helping humans execute tasks, make decisions, and even predict futures to ensure better business outcomes more efficiently. For example, for market research, businesses previously used human resources to collect opinions via focus groups and relied on smaller data sets for insights. However, with AI-driven video solutions, businesses can listen to billions of consumer opinions via video. AI systems can analyze all consumer videos at scale in half the time to help them with real-time data from real people to carry out and implement improved business decisions.
AI is probably the most important thing that humans are working on. Businesses are continuously working to minimize the downsides of harnessing AI. Youplus is working to build AI models and is continuously investing in AI Research to build consumers’ mental models, improve Natural Language Processing and is exploring deep learning techniques and neural network systems to increase the capabilities of its Video Opinion Intelligence Engine.
Moreover, it is parallelly working on developing the capabilities of its AI models for the future, understanding humans, their expressions and emotions with the highest accuracy.
FEATHER IN THE CAP
Youplus has received numerous accolades for its leading innovation in the video AI technology space. Here are some major milestones:
- In 2019, it won the ‘AI Excellence Awards’ by Business Intelligence Group and the Award for ‘Best Use of AI’ by Webit, a global community of innovators.
- More recently, the company was featured among the ‘Top 25 Artificial Intelligence Solution Providers’ by CIO Applications.
- Youplus is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council, a prestigious global invite-only community.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Entrepreneurs should take bigger risks and have a strong conviction about what they are building and most importantly why. It is 2019, and AI is advancing at an exponential rate. It is the perfect time to grow with innovative ideas and solutions that will help humans achieve better results. AI is already primed to create a vastly more productive and efficient business ecosystem and it is sure that if AI is properly harnessed it can positively transform the global economy.
“In today’s fast-paced world, we have created an opinion graph of millions, and our mission is to understand billions of people through their videos.” – Shaukat Shamim