The problem with plenty of choices is that more than often it make you miss out on what you actually need/want. Another important problem is that we often do not know what are the best available options are and even are oblivious of what they actually want and can get happy if that piece of information is offered to them. Sounds like Serendipity, right! In the news and content space, with a plethora of sources and information, the people now want a guide, an artificially intelligent personal assistant, which can help in this. Exactly what Hotify is all about- a news app, that aims to solve this pertaining problem by being an AI based personal assistant that would recommend people only the news they want and get it from the best available sources.
Based out of Bangalore, Hotify was founded in 2015 by Ankur Garg and Alok Gautam. Ankur is an IIT-Bombay alumnus and has over a decade of experience in digital content. He has founded AllSchoolStuff.com, Internet Retail Expo, and iamwire.com. He has an ardent dedication towards the enterprise, strong belief in his ideas and hard earned experience as an insider in the marketplace, a deep understanding of the subtleties of the competitive landscape. Alok is an IIM, Ahmedabad alumnus and has a 4-year experience of living in a hermitage at Rishikesh where he practiced nuances of mind and a thorough understanding of varied disciplines of physics and philosophy, his favorite being Quantum Physics. He keeps challenging the team reiterating his favorite line “Figure it out”.
Apart from the founders there are two other core team members, Yuvraj Gurung and Aakash Porwal. Yuvraj Gurung, has over a decade of work experience in media-based companies like The New Indian Express, Yahoo! and the Tribune Company. He is an alumnus of the Asian College of Journalism. Yuvraj plays a role of an industry veteran in our team, intertwining his experience of the news world with his understanding of what the users like. Aakash Porwal is the creative UX Guy. Aakash had co-founded Space Aura, a high-altitude balloon aerospace startup and Rocket Hike, a venture on Digital marketing solution, catering to celebrities & startups. With deep dwelling interest in creativity and innovation, he works on the improvement of the user experience through new ways of designing user interfaces.
Alok told Knowstartup-
“Technologically we do not have a comparable in India that matches our prowess. Most of the other players are tech-light and user-acquisition heavy. Hotify’s strategy is to invest on Technology & Product build-out, with no editors, to scale up rapidly & efficiently in the back-end.“
The startup raised $150,000 in seed round in December last year. The funding round was led by Rajasthan Angel Investors Network (RAIN).With a holistic approach towards AI and Recommender Systems (RS), Hotify is using multi-layer neural nets extensively in all key areas – Content Processing / Semantics, Summary & Curation, User Traits & Personality Biases, Behaviour & Context and much more. With all of these happening in “Real-time”.
Currently, Hotify is live on Android and soon they will have a Conversational UI which will require no or minimum inputs from users – a smart personal assistant who learns and is pro-active. The app already has 10,000 – 50,000 installs done till date. With the aim of targeting 650 million users in India, the team is modeling complex, critical techniques like Concept Drifts, Predictive Collaborative Filters, and Serendipity to enhance user experience and grow organically. The team plans to patent a few of these key multi-layer neural net algorithms later next year.