LogoGrab keeps brands in the picture with the impact of marketing

18 Sep 2017

From left: LogoGrab’s Wes Roddy, Collette Doyle and Luca Boschin. Image: Shane O’Neill Photography

Our start-up of the week is LogoGrab, an AI and cloud company that is influencing the future of digital marketing with its logo-recognition technology.

“We build artificial intelligence (AI) technology that detects logos in very large volumes of images and video,” explained LogoGrab co-founder Luca Boschin.

The Dublin-based company’s innovative marketing tool saw it win this year’s Google Adopt a Startup prize, with the latter lauding the progress that LogoGrab had made throughout the three-month programme.

‘We relocated here in 2014 from Switzerland. We chose Ireland for the language, talent and outstanding lack of prejudice in its culture’

LogoGrab monitors logos and branding in images and video, alerting companies when their image appears somewhere and providing them with additional information on how well their marketing is going.

The market

Logograb keeps brands in the picture on the impact of their marketing

From left: Collette Doyle and Wes Roddy from LogoGrab, Paddy Flynn from Google, and LogoGrab co-founder Luca Boschin. Image: Shane O’Neill Photography.

Boschin explained that the creation, sharing and consumption of visual data has expanded dramatically over the last five years.

“Our LogoGrab brand-detection API technology is licensed across diverse industries to help monetise and monitor visual data.

“The main industries we cover today are social media monitoring, brand compliance, counterfeit detection and big data monetisation.

The founders

Boschin, who describes himself as passionate about long-term thinking, is experienced in building and commercialising AI solutions.

“I’ve started multiple businesses since high school, following my passion for building teams and products.

“My co-founder, Alessandro Prest, is a former Google researcher who built some of Google’s core image-recognition technologies.”

The technology

A savvy blend of software engineering, AI and the cloud are key aspects of how LogoGrab has built its platform.

“We’ve always believed in excellence and simplicity,” Boschin said.

“Our technology has been independently benchmarked to deliver a performance 10 times better than the closest competitor.

“Furthermore, we deliver a unique capability of training any logo within minutes, using only the name and website of a brand as input. More than that, I can’t really say.”

The ultimate goal is to “accelerate a more profound state of existence through better artificial intelligence”.

The first €1m is always the hardest

Boschin said that LogoGrab reached €1m in sales within 12 months of launching its product.

“Our technology is trusted by clients like eBay, Crimson Hexagon, Brandwatch, Nestlé and Heineken.

“Today, we’re focused on profitability, closing fast-paced partnerships with some of the world’s most influential brands.

“We are currently growing organically out of revenue.”

Think long-term

The biggest challenges for LogoGrab, he admits, have been around expressing a vision a few years ahead of the technology becoming a mainstream reality, learning how to manage global brands and structure scalable sales processes.

“We believe that Ireland is an incredible hub for start-ups.

“We relocated here in 2014 from Switzerland. We chose Ireland for the language, talent and outstanding lack of prejudice in its culture.”

His advice to fellow founders is to avoid echo chambers.

“The Irish talent and culture are great for B2B products. Think long-term. Remove any dogmas from your mind.

“Contextualise and use baby steps to reach your long-term vision. Be inclusive rather than divisive.”

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years