2020 was not the typical business year. With the announcement of COVID-19 pandemic in the beginning of March 2020, our business and the lives and business of many others have been transformed. In a way it restarted in a very wired way our plans, activities and work practice. March 2021 marks one year from the announcement of the pandemic and we felt now is more appropriate time to reflect on what have happened one year surviving the pandemic. 

COVID-19 changed a lot in our personal lives and impacted our company, and our partners. We all had great experiences but the world pandemic, unpredictable and unexpected, stormed into our lives. Historically, with difficult times comes much innovation. The good news is we are built to stay and we adapt and change, learn from the hardship and end evolve our lives, product and services to better match the new reality. 

The following is a recap of Imagga’s progress since the turning point in March 2020 when we realized we are operating in the reality of world pandemic.

Kelvin Health Spin-Off

Triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, we joined forces with outside experts. We started together a spin-off called Kelvin Health that applies Imagga’s AI technology to aid the screening and monitoring of medical conditions with the help of thermal imaging. A group of enthusiastic medical doctors proposed to validate their observations that AI-enabled analysis of thermal images of the chest and back can help better understand the development of COVID-19 and its complications. We signed agreements for data collection with several prestigious hospitals in Europe. This is helping us to significantly improve the analytical part of the solution enabled by Imagga’s machine learning tech. 

The scope of the project went far beyond just COVID-19 and we are currently working on helping monitor and screen various cases of breast cancer. Soon to be announced partnership with a pharma company that is at the forefront of fighting cancer worldwide will help us gather valuable data to aid the AI analysis.


Core Technology Advancement  

During last year one of our priorities was Imagga’s Content Management Platform. We released a private beta version of the CM platform that offers automatic filtering of unsafe content in images, videos, and live streaming. We’ve put significant effort into improving the dataset quality, increasing accuracy. Thanks to pilots with several significant customers, we managed to improve the platform’s stability and extend it to cater to the exponentially growing demand for live streaming moderation. 

Our software stack and deployment strategies got a significant upgrade last year. We’ve improved the overall performance, including a better migration process, optimized and more stable software stack. This resulted in even better performance on our Cloud API and on-premise solution, increasing their stability. 

EU Support for Technology Advancement 

2020 put an end to a fascinating project, funded by the EU: Photobox – personal photo organization enhanced by Imagga’s image recognition and image classification technologies. We’ve managed to significantly improve our image datasets and make the organization of personal photos more precise and accurate. We will be integrating Photobox technology into our flagship products, the Tagging and Facial Recognition API’s, to make them even more powerful and exciting for our variety of customers. 

We’ve started a collaboration with ZAZ Ventures, leading deep-tech innovation grant consultants. Creating an excellent grant proposal sometimes goes beyond the workforce abilities of technology startups. It often requires tapping into an elaborate grant proposal framework and/or participating in a consortium of business partners working on a multi-industry solution. 

We’ve got the Horizon2020 Seal of Excellence. Imagga is one of the two companies in Bulgaria for the past two years being recognized with that recognition. 

2020 also brought two new EU Commission-funded projects to us. AI4Media is a high-impact project run by a consortium of 30 renowned academia, research, and enterprise organizations. AI4Media, which is funded with a total budget of 12M EUR by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, will focus on delivering the next generation of core AI advances to help media meet the constantly growing requirements but also comply with the core EU values of trustworthiness and ethical engagement.

The second successfully funded project that we are part of is CounteR. CounteR brings data from dispersed sources into analysis to create an early alert platform for data mining and prediction of and support the fight against radicalization and prevent future terrorist attacks in the European Union. Project partners are several police agencies and NGOs and academies doing in-depth research on public violence and terrorism prevention. 


Customer Integrations

Somebody once said there’s no better investment than a paying customer. Nothing makes us happier at Imagga but to see the needs of our customers met, enabling them to automate “things that are impossible to do manually.” 

One of the most significant integration achievements of 2020 is the plant lense of the Plantsnap app right into the interface of Snapchat. That was made possible thanks to Imagga’s very high-performing deep learning cloud API meeting Snapchat’s demands. 

Eden Photos is another success story of 2020 – bringing the power of image tagging to Mac and Windows desktops. Imagga’s tagging and categorization APIs enable Eden Photos to provide automated tagging and organization capabilities to your personal photo collection. 

Imagga processed 600M images in the last 12 months via it’s cloud API and even more on-premise in helping our customers improve their end-user experience, monetize their visual content, or assist them in building custom solutions based on visual content. 

Last but not least, having a strong team is the best asset every company can have, especially in challenging years such as 2020. Team of people who are ready to fight adversity to support our common mission and keep conquering new horizons together in the long run. Efforts of the team did not go unnoticed. Georgi Kostadinov, our Head of AI, was featured in Forbes “30 under 30” in Bulgaria for 2020.

2020 was challenging but at the same time very exciting for Imagga, and we believe for many businesses worldwide. It brought both the stress and the freedom coming from uncertainty and marked the efforts we need to put our attention in – fighting for a better, more secure future, and Imagga’s technologies are a big part of it. We are excited about how 2021 is already unrolling! The best is yet to come!