Netra Closes $1.8 Million to Accelerate Next-Generation Visual Intelligence and Search

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Startup launched by MIT alumni also signs deal with Kantar Group

Netra Computer Vision Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning

Netra

Netra is solving the biggest of big data challenges by automatically organizing imagery and making it searchable with cutting-edge Computer Vision and Deep Learning technology.

Netra, Inc., a leader in Visual Intelligence and Search, closed $1.85 million in Series Seed financing led by Launchpad Venture Group and NXT Ventures with participation from Zelkova Ventures, Mark Cuban, Berwind LLC and other prominent angels. This round brings total funding for Netra to $2.45 million, which will be used to accelerate team growth, product development and sales. Netra was a part of Techstars Boston 2015 class.

Netra’s solution helps make sense of the deluge of photos and videos posted online to gain a deeper understanding of consumer preferences and engagement points, and help drive visual discovery. The technology was developed from research at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and leverages computer vision, deep learning and search.

Concurrent with the funding, Netra also announced signing an agreement with Kantar Group, one of the largest global data investment management firms, to license Netra’s proprietary IRIS Visual Intelligence software. Kantar is part of WPP plc, the world’s largest advertising holding company, and includes other leading firms like Millward Brown, TNS, Added Value, Kantar Worldpanel, Lightspeed Research, and Kantar Media.

“Kantar’s mission is to understand everything about the Consumer – their interests, intentions, likes and dislikes. With imagery quickly becoming the dominant form of expression for consumers, we needed a more automated solution to extract data and insights from the plethora of imagery. After many months of testing and evaluating alternatives, we found Netra’s solution to be the most accurate and robust—and importantly, one that was built to work with Kantar’s existing processes,” commented Mardien Drew, Head of Mobile and Incubation Technologies at Kantar. “While we are starting with photos, we are collaborating with Netra to quickly expand to video and future consumption platforms like augmented and virtual reality.”

“Netra is solving the biggest of big data challenges by automatically organizing imagery and making it searchable with cutting-edge Computer Vision and Deep Learning technology,” added Raymond Nobu Chang, Managing Director of NXT Ventures. “Netra has developed solutions that we believe are more accurate and faster than those developed by the largest technology companies. More importantly, they solve a real pain point for enterprises that still rely on manual tagging, which is costly and inefficient. The team has identified critical short and longer-term markets to target – and had great initial success bringing on enthusiastic enterprise customers. We’re excited to help fund this next phase of growth for Netra.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the partners we’re announcing today,” said Richard Lee, CEO of Netra. “Kantar is one of the most technologically-savvy and forward-thinking research firms out there, with some of the world’s biggest brands as clients and the scale of WPP behind it. We’re excited about what we’ve delivered so far, but more excited about what we’re working on with Kantar. On the funding side, we were fortunate to find investors early on who believed in our team, our vision, and importantly helped us identify the best initial applications and markets to target. This round will allows us to bring on some exceptional talent to add to our already amazing team and deliver more innovation and value to our partners.”

For more information about Netra, visit http://www.netra.io

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About Netra
Netra’s mission is to organize the deluge of photos and videos online, extracting data and insights to understand consumer intent and preferences, and help drive visual discovery. Netra has four patents pending on its technology, which was borne out of research from MIT CSAIL. Netra offers an analytics dashboard to brands and agencies, and API access to social listening platforms and e-commerce sites.
To learn more, visit http://www.netra.io.

About Launchpad Venture Group
Launchpad is the largest angel investing group in the Northeast and one of the top three most active groups in the United States in both deal volume and dollars invested. Launchpad focuses on investments in software / IT, web and e-commerce, media and social media, mobile and wireless, medical devices, diagnostics, healthcare IT, networking and telecom, clean-tech, renewable energy and green-tech.
To learn more, visit http://www.launchpadventuregroup.com.

About NXT Ventures
NXT Venture Fund is established for the purpose of discovering and enabling the next truly disruptive startup companies, with potential to transfer and create cross-border synergies between the United States and China. NXT invests at the seed stage of company formation (often pre-revenue) to provide the critical early capital for developing prototypes, evaluating market or commercialization approaches, and obtain early product-market fit. NXT founders have deep entrepreneurial & financial roots, and typically engage hands-on with their portfolio companies.
To learn more, visit http://www.nxtventures.com.

About Kantar
Kantar is the data investment management arm of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By uniting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group is the preeminent provider of compelling data and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 30,000 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.
To learn more, visit http://www.kantar.com.

Press Contact:
Helen Phung
me(at)helenphung(dot)com
619-245-1681

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