BLOCK71 Singapore Entrepreneur Feature — ViSenze

In this week’s Entrepreneur Feature, we speak to Oliver, the CEO and co-founder of ViSenze, an AI company that uses image recognition technology to improve search engines.

NUS Enterprise
Aug 23, 2018 · 3 min read
The ViSenze Team
  1. What is ViSenze and what do you do?

My name is Oliver Tan and I am the CEO and co-founder of ViSenze, an AI company that powers visual commerce for retailers and brands. In simpler terms, we help retailers’ products be more discoverable online by allowing consumers to search for them using images instead of keywords.

2. What is ViSenze’s secret sauce?

ViSenze specialises in computer vision and our technology processes pixels within images and videos to understand what each visual contains in order to help people find products easier. This eliminates the hassle of finding products online by guessing with keywords. ViSenze’s underlying technology is built on computer vision combined with machine learning.

3. What’s next for ViSenze?

There is a lot of innovation ahead on ViSenze’s product roadmap. Today, our technology helps consumers have a more efficient and pleasant shopping experience when they are browsing on retailers’ sites as well as on other online platforms like social media. In the future, we are working on many exciting new applications, like video for example. We are already processing videos at scale, but our team is constantly working hard to enhance these capabilities to make products within them more discoverable.

4. What is your greatest challenge?

One of our greatest challenges has been quickly expanding into new markets with the right people at the right time. We’ve found with AI innovation that if you’re too far ahead, you’re challenged with market adoption. We are in a good spot right now, but we are still trying to expand into larger markets like China and the US. This calls for a lot of travel, learning about these places, talking to new retailers, networking, and educating friends and partners. Another challenge has been finding talent, especially in a small country like Singapore. Our employees consist of many nationalities and they love the work that we do, so while finding talent is a challenge for most AI companies, I think we’ve overcome this pretty well.

5. What are your best memories at BLOCK71?

I think the best memory I have of BLOCK71 is the camaraderie as well as the sense of community that we share. When we were a much smaller startup, there were many others that we could relate to and share our experiences and journey with. We found that problems we encountered some others had not, and vice versa, so by sharing these experiences we got to learn and grow together. These early memories have been very important to me and it’s something that I enjoy sharing with other startups that are going down the BLOCK71 path as well.

6. What are some call to actions?

ViSenze specializes in retail and it is a vertical that we continue to double down on. We reach out to retailers in different markets, speak at trade events, participate in seminars, and show retailers the benefits of using AI technology in order to make better connections with their consumers.

Watch the full video interview with Oliver from ViSenze here:

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NUS Enterprise

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NUS Enterprise nurtures entrepreneurial talents with global mindsets, while advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at Asia’s leading university.