“A human is our biggest competition,” says the 28-year old co-founder and CEO of artificial intelligence (AI) startup, Staqu – Atul Rai.”
Rai founded Staqu along with four of his ex-colleagues in an effort to “solve problems of different domains” and to enable humans to use their intelligence to do something that machines cannot. “We call ourselves an AI research company and we are part of the image understanding industry,” is how Rai likes to introduce his startup, taking care to distinguish it from a fashion affiliate company. The distinction is necessary given that since its inception in June last year, Staqu has been using AI to cater to the fashion industry.
Fashion: A low hanging fruit
Bootstrapped till June 2016, Staqu managed to sustain and grow without any fund infusion because it chose to apply its AI-based solutions to fashion industry or what Rai calls a low hanging fruit.