‘May I help you please’ abbreviated to Mihup, a Kolkata-based AI-enabled offline speech recognition platform provides instant answer to user queries based on diverse topics like travel, shopping, price comparison, astrology, jokes, general knowledge, astrology and jokes to name a few. The app consists of an in-built messenger sending out the query through SMS followed by an algorithm-based AI search providing the answers.
Though a few AI start-ups like Niki.ai and Haptic launched text chatbots, there was nobody housing offline services. That seeded the idea of Mihup. Accel Partners funded it with a 20 percent stake and investment of Rs. 45 crore in 2016.
Mihup switched to B2B from B2C in 2017, leveraging its footprints into domains likemedia, entertainment, car control, and customer call analysis.
With Google launching its new instant and offline voice recognition system this summer, the big players are soon to follow the path, anticipates the co-founder.
Co-founder Biplab considers US-based Nuance as the only contender in the present scenario. He adds that the possibility of the biggies swarming in offline is not scaring team Mihup off as Facebook shined through the previous undisputed ruler Orkut!
Another co-founder Sandipan from the start-up reflects a ray of confidence saying that Mihup might even take the upper hand over the tech biggies. Their weapon is strong domain knowledge of Hinglish (a mix of Hindi and English), used by a lion share of Indians. He also hints at their expertise incustomization of response for the client as an added advantage, which Google and other big players don’t excel at.
Currently, the start-up is diving deeper to research on accents and dialects across languages. Works with English, Hindi, Bengali, Hinglish, and Benglish (mix of Bengali and English) is on, too.
Though Mihup primarily focuses on plating out offline solutions, on-demand open domain online API services for general purpose along with on-premise deployment is also served to its clients.
Career Call & Fundraising
Mihup currently works with staff strength of approximately 35 and is looking to double the team size by end of month. The team is an equal mix of linguists and techies. It also has fundraising plans for next year. They are planning to put the fund in use for addition of an increased number of Indian languages to the Mihup platform as well as to set their foot prints overseas.