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iKen-SOLUTIONS
Jayakishore Bayadi
Monday, September 1, 2008
Seeing the potential of the mobile phone as the platform for telecom, media, and technology convergence, Dr. Rajendra Sonar, an Associate Professor at IIT Bombay and Siddharth Goel, iKen Solutions have built a novel approach to deliver the digital content to a mobile customer by applying several Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques and methodologies. An SINE, IIT Bombay incubated startup, which recently selected for Microsoft Start-Up Accelerator Programme, has a vision to provide highly relevant and extremely personalized end user experiences for the digital world (mobile/online).


HEADQUARTERS Mumbai, India PRODUCTS Mooga, iKen Studio PRINCIPALS CEO—Siddharth Goel CTO—Dr.Rajendra Sonar

Siddharth is a Computer Engineering graduate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he has also worked with Goldman Sachs and Diamond Cluster International in the United States. Dr.Rajendra M. Sonar is an Associate Professor at IIT Bombay. Dr Sonar has earned Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Pune University and has been researching hybrid AI for the past 10 years.

EARLY INVESTORS:

Self funded, spent around $1.5million since last three years. WEBSITE: www.ikensolutions.com


COMPETITORS Changingworlds, Xian Technology, Ziva, Yahoo! Search, Google, and other mobile search/discovery companies.

HEADCOUNT: 20

CUSTOMERS Content creators like Viacom International, Sony BMG, Disney, MTV, Warner Music, Sun Microsystems, and a leading mobile operator among others.


DIFFERENTIATOR iKen’s patent pending Mooga product is based on concept of the Long Tail and Wisdom of Crowds—to sell a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities on web. It is the same concept that Amazon.com and Netflix have been betting on and seen success in the web world. Well, same concept is used in iKen’s Mooga, which powerfully performs context-based search on variety of digital content stored in library, which sits in content providers’ or operator’s environment. In the normal search methods user gets too many unwanted content making him cumbersome to select what he wants out of plenty of choices. Mooga adds value to this system by incorporating AI techniques to understand, track, predict and recommend mobile content based on individual user tastes, downloads and popular content. That means each time when the user downloads the content, Mooga learns about that particular user’s tastes, likes and dislikes continuously and contextually with macro and micro level of analysis, and extracts content from content storage servers and places in the personalized manner so that when he comes next time, it can show all the new content available in the library, which he might like. With such an imparted knowledge base Mooga acts like a friend by creating highly relevant experience for each user and recommends preferred content to him. Thus, when more content of their choice is available, more users will come to the library.

Mooga also actively promotes viral spreading of content, allowing users to recommend content to their friends and get paid for it! The product is scalable over SMS, WAP and Web infrastructures currently. “Mooga uses a common contextual framework for AI which is completely content-and-platform agnostic and future content type compatible. The solution essentially creates an infinite shelf space over infinite time and allows our customers sell everything for everybody” states Goel.

Mooga, which is built on top of iKen Studio frame work, based on hybrid AI, which is an integration of several intelligent techniques like expert system, case-based reasoning, content filtering, collaborative filtering, wisdom of crowds techniques and statistics is a result of more than three years of research. “Though there are several competitors in the mobile search and discovery space, but we are based on solid core IP that will be tough to replicate. If that is the case, we’ll certainly have the first mover advantage. The answer to mobile content distribution problems is not search but discovery, to search is to find what you want, to discover is to find what you didn’t even know you wanted.” says Goel. iKen Studio is core integrated development framework to develop business intelligence systems backed by or enhanced with integrated AI techniques.


BUSINESS MODEL


Based on transactions—the company earns a share out of each transaction. Earns from iKen Studio licensing, which is also available in SaaS mode.

QUEUED UP

To commercialize Mooga in Latin America and Indian sub-continents and to explore alliances for iKen Studio in various other verticals.

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