HYDERABAD: IIITH seed fund has invested in NicheAI, an early stage Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup that designs accurate and computationally light algorithms to solve computer vision problems.

In general, AI algorithms require sufficient clean training data and heavy computational resources to run. However, real-life problems come with constraints such as bad training data, quick turnaround requirement and limited computational availability. This creates a significant bottleneck in taking an AI product from lab to real situations. NicheAI is using deep learning and metaheuristic inspired evolutionary algorithms to tackle these bottlenecks.

Soham Acharya, CEO NicheAI, says, "The best engineer and architect out there is nature and natural order has designed an entity to have intelligence embedded inside the body and not somewhere else. Thus we believe the future of AI to be on edge and not on cloud."   The startup has been assisting insurance companies analyse claims images and videos to disburse insurance claims. NicheAI's core offering is also being used by some companies to develop AI systems using local hardware and giving real time insights from videos and images.

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Founded a year back, NicheAI was initially accelerated in IIITH's AVISHKAR deep tech accelerator program. It recently closed its angel funding from IIITH Seed Fund, Times Internet, IIITH Foundation and other HNIs.

Speaking on the rationale behind IIITH Seed Fund investment into NicheAI, Ajay Jain, Co-Founder IIITH Seed Fund, said, "Solutions using computer vision can improve efficiency and accuracy in several industries such as insurance, roadways and manufacturing. NicheAI has provided successful solutions in some of these areas. Next up, they are confident of solving the edge deployment problem using a platform approach and less computing power. Given IIITH Seed Fund's mandate of investing in deep learning companies solving everyday problems, NicheAI fits the bill perfectly. Furthermore given their play in a B2B space, it balances our existing portfolio. NicheAI can develop several practical applications for deep learning enabled computer vision problems which is exciting." About IIIT-Hyderabad:

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The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH) is an autonomous research university founded in 1998 that focuses on the core areas of Information Technology, such as Computer Science, Electronics and Communications, and their applications in other domains through inter-disciplinary research with great social impact. Some of its research domains include Visual Information Technologies, Human Language Technologies, Data Engineering, VLSI and Embedded Systems, Computer Architecture, Wireless Communications, Algorithms and Information Security, Robotics, Building Science, Earthquake Engineering, Computational Natural Sciences and Bioinformatics, Education Technologies, Power Systems, IT in Agriculture and e-Governance.
Website: http://www.iiit.ac.in

IIITH Seed Fund:
IIIT Seed Fund has been created to invest in tech startups from the IIIT-Hyderabad incubator and startup eco system. It is a fund from a network of investors comprising of tech professionals and successful entrepreneurs. Investment is primarily targeted at early stage tech startups involved in technologies like machine learning, computer vision, robotics, AR/VR, natural language processing and other sub-domains of artificial intelligence among others. The seed fund network comprises of professionals and entrepreneurs who extensively mentor the investee startups.

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The investors who are senior industry leaders with extensive domain knowledge and peer networks assist in creating a structure to support start-ups and further enhance startup ecosystems. Startups will get to leverage the expertise of individual investors who are part of initiative and share their expertise in sales & marketing, finance, systems and technology, risk, legal & compliance, tax & legal, human resources & training. This further supplement the research mentoring already offered IIIT Hyderabad, where tech startups get guidance from the faculty and researchers at IIIT-Hyderabad's labs.PTI