New Members of Imagga Team

Ivan & Georgi

We are quite happy to announce two new members of Imagga family – Ivan and Georgi. We’ve got them on board just days after securing $260K seed round from LAUNCHub. It’s exciting to have some fresh geek blood in the company, hey, great things are to come!

We’ve known Ivan & Georgi for almost two years. Chris first met them at WebLoz, web design and web development competition for high school students and was immediately impressed by their passion for coding, great ideas and awesome execution. Last year Chris & Pavel worked together with Georgi & Ivan on interesting e-learning platform for a Swiss company and here we go now – part of Imagga team.

Ivan is passionate about software development, photography and cycling. For the last 4 years he and Georgi have participated in numerous software dev hackathons, and during the last two years won the 1st prize on the national IT competition. He is also keen on mastering artificial intelligence and computer vision.

I wanted to become part of Imagga as I believe it has great potential to create innovative solutions in the field of computer vision and particularly image understanding technologies – hi-tech sector with awesome potential to grow in the coming years.

Ivan has mastered PHP, Python and JavaScript, but can also “speak” Perl, Ruby, C++ and Objective-С, not to mention HTML5 and tools like CoffeeScript, Sass and so on.

Georgi started learning Photoshop in 5 grade. Soon enough he started programming using PHP. In high school he added C++ to the his programming skills. Back then he wanted to develop games but now he shifted to web development using Python and Node.js. His current passion is JavaScript.

What really attracted me to join Imagga’s team is my strong drive to be part of a startup and to advance in an area of great interest to me – computer vision. I really like to learn new stuff, and working for Imagga will give me a chance to do so.

Guys, welcome to Imagga, it will be a great journey!

Imagga Secures $260K in Seed Funding to Make Image Organization Simple

Launchub Logo

We are happy to announce Imagga got $260K funding from LAUNCHub, a 9M Euro Seed & Acceleration fund (financial instrument of the JEREMIE initiative of the EIF and EC) that invests in startup companies, and $90K from several private investors. Small portion of this investment amount is for buying out of the shares of a previous micro-seed investor, OpenFund.

Imagga democratizes image understanding technologies by wrapping them in a cloud platform of powerful APIs that allow auto-cropping, color extraction & search, categorization and auto-tagging of large image collections. Imagga APIs allow owners of large image collections to automate the process of analyzing, organizing and searching through the images inside their collections on a SaaS basis.

Imagga’s flagship technology is auto-tagging – automated image annotation, that helps businesses and individuals with vast image collection to add meaning to every single image and to better organize images.  Tagging is time consuming, highly dependant on human labor process, but extremely crucial for image intensive businesses. The ability to ease the that process by automating it and making it almost real time, is Imagga’s goal.

The investment from LAUNCHub will help Imagga focus on maturing all image technologies currently in development – color and multi-color search, auto-cropping, auto-categorization, visual similarity and specially image auto-tagging. The company plans to speed up its research efforts as well as it’s growing its customer base.

Daily more than 1B images are take, 500M of which are shared publicly. Private and public image collections are growing with speed unimaginable. Organizing all that images and getting advantage of them is significant pain for business in lots of business verticals. Imagga provides easy to integrate APIs, offered as software-as-service and soon subscriptions.

We are also pleased to announce two partnerships for distributing our APIs. Blitline provides industrial strength online image processing and has added Imagga’s APIs to their offering. Mahsape is a world-class API marketplace and Imagga APIs are available for integration to their steadily growing developer community.

Georgi in Forbes Bulgaria 30 under 30

Forbes Georgi 30 under 30

Forbes Bulgaria acknowledged Georgi Kadrev, 28, co-founder of Imagga as one of the 30 under 30 talents of Bulgaria. He didn’t make it to the cover, but may be next time with some even more exciting news about Imagga.

Georgi has been one of the youngest tech entrepreneurs fired up to start his own business while studying in Sofia University. While most of the tech students strive for career in the outsourcing industry or big names like HP, SAP, VMWare that have offices in Sofia, Georgi was always thinking of changing the world by inventing new image analysis algorithms and making them commercially available. That’s how Imagga was born.

We are extremely proud to have Georgi on board, motivated, inspiring, a bit crazy, always fair, big player

Next time, picture like that but from Forbes (not Forbes Bulgaria)

Do We Work Hard Enough For You To Like Us

Imagga - Hardest Working Startup at WebSummit

Imagga will be taking part in WebSummit in Dublin at the end of October and we are excited of that opportunity to meet with lots of startups, interested investors and hackers from all over the world. We are working really hard and, fingers crossed, we will have some really exciting news to announce during the event.

The Hardest Working Startup competition is one of the ways to raise awareness on the great startups that will be pitching and exhibiting at the event. The VIP treatment - plane tickets, transfer and hotel accommodation is just the top of the value proposition of that game. As we are busy working on what's important the most - our image analysis technology, we will not be spending much time pushing you to like our page, so you have one chance, really.

If you want to help, pls visit the specially designated Imagga WebSummit page, and press Like. What we will appreciate the most is if you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and possibly Angel List. Ah, and why not sing up for some of our great image APIs and hack with our service. Any feedback will be highly appreciated.

If you happen to attend WebSummit, drop us a line in the comment box below and lets arrange a meeting to chat about images, SaaS, APIs, you name it!

Imagga goes to Webit in Istanbul

Imagga is going to Istanbul. For a couple of days. WebIt is calling. WebIt is the biggest event for digital, technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Central-Eastern Europe and the Middle East. For the last couple of years it has been organized in Sofia, Bulgaria, but it outgrew in attendance and scope so the next logical move was the cosmopolitan Istanbul.

Imagga has been selected as one of the 21 finalists for the Startup Challenge. It’s great honor to represent Bulgarian startup ecosystem to an event as diverse and big as WebIt. We will be doing a 5 min presentation during the startup pitches, so if you happen to be at WebIt, watch out, we have amazing product and presentation to show.

You can meet us at the startup village during WebIt. We will be glad to get to know you and talk about image understanding and the great image API services and tools we currently offer.

Imagga at Intel Global Challenge in UC Berkeley

It was really exciting to be finalist for Intel Challenge Europe. We won second prize and this gave us the chance to compete with the best teams from all over the world, not somewhere but in Berkeley University.

So the journey began! Georgi and Chris were lucky to be able to travel and represent Imagga at IGC. Well, visiting UC Berkeley was really exciting itself. Both Chris and Georgi have graduated Technology Entrepreneurship in Sofia University but the program was actually drafted and sponsored by UC Berkeley. We've heard much of that great place, now visiting and taking part in Intel event was awesome.

Staying in a hotel just across the campus was super cool experience. You wake up in the morning really early (different time zone, jet legged) and look down to the street that goes to the campus and see hundreds of students. Almost made me get out of the room and go explore with some of them ;-)

The competition took place in Haas School of Business, nice building at the corner of the campus. UC Berkeley is liberal arts school so we were surprised to see so many students dressed up! Kind of in contradiction with the startup culture we've been tough and later to see down in the Valley. That explained the official attire for the whole competition. Somebody joked that's one of the reasons they placed Haas at the corner of the campus. You do not see much casual dressed students in campus ;-)

It was exciting to see lots of interesting people that have fought to come to the finals of Intel Global Challenge. It was also challenging to be able to connect and talk to all of the folks as the competition is not strictly IT. Actually most of the project were clean tech and social enterprises.

The competition was well organized but a bit over-managed. People in Europe are not used to be told to go to the restroom before taking 1 hour ride for example. Anyway, this might be the American way of organizing a bunch of aliens with strange names and business ideas ;-)

The best part of the competition, to be honest, were mentoring sessions. In a room the size of Cabin Hotel room and temperature of a tropical iceland we got one of the best mentoring sessions ever. He was polite enough to listen to the whole presentation and gave us couple of really good ideas that we've implemented in our pitch and we believe that made it really good.

The jury pitching was in closed doors (even journalist that has been deliberately brought overseas for IGC were banned recording and taking pictures!) and we can only speak about our presentation. With no way to compare it with the presentations of the other competing teams, we believe ours was one of the best  ;-) The very fact that the honorable jury spent all the time asking questions, even the time left from the presentations (Georgi delivered for 8 min instead of 15) speaks of the interest and the impression our project left in the jury members. It was a pity the person from Intel that was supposed to be part of the jury was missing, but any way, a jury of two is still a jury.

All this positive stuff makes you think we managed to get to the 8 finalist that were supposed to present publicly!? We didn't, and it was surprising as we still believe our project was worth going through (pretty much sure all the participating teams will say the same about theirs). It wasn't surprising when on the last day of public presentations they announced they are not giving one of the awards - New Technology for New Users. If you read in the booklet specially created for the competition it says they are giving this award for a project with great opportunity to create a disruptive, scalable business that most impacts Generation C (17-27). Non of the projects selected for the finals tackle that problem and user group. Taking pictures and innovation around that we still believe it's going to happen through Gen C ;-)

Competitions are created to get experience, to practice your pitches, to get to know interesting people, to win sometimes. Well, we are very happy we've participated in IGC and learned a lot, networked a lot, spend a lot! Well, we did not win, but as they usually say in competitions like that - all are winners. The very fact we've managed to go through the selection process, win in Europe (and that wasn't an easy win), get our posters at Intel, present proudly and fearlessly network, makes this trip a success for us.

Next - Silicon Valley weekend trip and exciting stay in, but we will post about that separately.

StockPodium gets investment

We are really excited to announce StockPodium was micro-funded by The OpenFund aimed at supporting new ideas that are deployed on the Internet and emerging technologies.

Getting some seed money and as well access to the OpenFund business consultants and technology partners, we will be able to put all our efforts on the visual similarity, the technology that powers StockPodium and offer innovative and really useful service to the creative communities of publishers, designers, professional speakers and photographers.