Power Pitch: Cortica
What is the mission of your company?
Developed at the Technion, Israel's premier technology institute, Cortica's groundbreaking image recognition technology enables computers to comprehend photo and video content on the web. Fusing neuroscience with computer science, Cortica's platform can automatically recognize and interpret large amounts of visual data (photos and video) in real-time including objects, places, faces, logos, brands, events, products, etc. with zero false positives.
This breakthrough is a vast improvement over decades-old face recognition and newer fingerprinting technologies, and addresses one of the greatest computing challenges on the Internet—automatic identification and processing of visual content.
Explain your business model—how do you make money?
The technology has already been employed by Israeli security organizations, however the first commercial applications developed by Cortica fall into the areas of online advertising, search and image analytics, but other applications in other industries are in development.
Advertising/E-commerce: Cortica's ability to identify, classify and index visual images will accelerate the adoption of in-image "native" advertising, where relevant ads or targeted e-commerce offers are embedded directly within appealing photo or video content instead of in banner ads that are easily ignored. Publishers or social media platforms that embed Cortica in their systems will be able to transform their photo and video content into highly contextual ad inventory, giving publishers a completely new monetization stream, enabling brands and marketers to reach highly targeted mass audiences.
Search: Cortica can improve a search engine's ability to deliver fully accurate and relevant photo and video search results—in greater quantities and with zero false positives, thanks to its ability to automatically classify, tag and cross-index multiple objects within a single image. Delivering more relevant visual results improves the search engine's ability to monetize its search results.
Analytics: Cortica constantly crawls the Web and indexes millions of new images every day. Companies that implement Cortica can easily analyze aggregated user behaviors and interests based on the images they view, upload or interact with, enabling companies to better understand their target audience or user base. The technology could also be used to track brand penetration or brand misuse on the Web.
Who do you compete with in this space and how are you different?
Google and Stanford University are working on a similar image recognition technology - but Cortica is way past them. [According to a] NY Times article, the Stanford experiment utilized 16,000 linked processors to recognize unclassified pictures of a cat. Cortica's technology works on a single mobile phone or PC processor. The lead Stanford scientist said that they are still looking for the right algorithm to enable computers to "learn"— Cortica already has that algorithm.
Where are your headquarters?
As of Oct.1, Cortica's headquarters will be relocated to NYC, although much of its operations will be in Israel. (Note: The NYC headquarters is in a temporary space)
Number of full-time employees?
Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, and Ynon Kreiz, the former chairman & CEO of the Endemol Group, the world's largest independent television production company.
Ynon Kreiz is currently chairman of Cortica, an advanced image recognition technology company; and chairman of Maker Studios, an online video production company that produces original content for YouTube.
Between 2008 and June 2011, he served as chairman and CEO of Endemol, the world's largest independent television production company and a global leader in entertainment programming (Big Brother, Wipeout, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, etc.)