“We have entered a new era of analytics with machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms beginning to deliver on the long-promised advancement into self-learning systems,” said Stephen Brobst, CTO of Teradata, at the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Session organized by Telenor Pakistan.
Innovation isn’t new to Pakistan since Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are booming with a technological boon in the respective nation. The birth of the fourth Industrial Revolution has been a gateway for new analytics with respect to algorithmic advancement for the growth of a smart self-learning system. AI has emerged as a real-time problem-solving system that requires the assessment of big data, due to which it is going to emerge as one of the biggest investment priorities by 2020, as reported by Garter.
Realizing the potential that AI holds and the desire to produce data-driven predictive results, startups in Pakistan have begun to take their steps to integrate a physico-cyber mindset that aims to converge big data sets with mass storage to introduce phenomenal changes in the industrial ecosystem of Pakistan.
The employment of this transformational technology has gained quite a reputation after venture funding becoming accessible to startups in Pakistan in less than a decade. Moreover, the research in the field of AI speeded up in 2018 when the government of Pakistan allocated PKR 1.1 billion for seed funding. Given that Pakistan is progressing with leaps and bounds in the AI domain as compared to her Asian peers, Pakistani AI startups with a sense of digitization are galvanized to change the tech landscape of Pakistan and let her set afoot with others in the field.
Here is a list of 15 Pakistani AI tech startups, which are responding uniquely to the gravitational pull of AI and Machine Learning. Each of these startups and companies is using rich deep technology to transform the contemporary digital ecosystem in Pakistan at an unprecedented pace.
Claiming as the pioneer of innovation in AI in Pakistan, BaseH Technologies developed the first AI news writer in Pakistan, called Dante. This modern AI content generator uses the Natural Learning Processing (NLP) to create seamless content that is indistinguishable from human writing. The point of creating this AI writer is to present a breakthrough in the new publishing system and to generate news content using data metrics from day-to-day journalism news and reports.
Recently, this tech firm received initial funding of $4 million valuation, which is by far the highest venture capital any AI startup has fetched in Pakistan. With Dante becoming smarter with NLP, baseH is progressing on its way to becoming a future unicorn in Pakistan.
CISNR is one of the very few tech-focused institutions in Pakistan that are using AI technology to address the environmental concerns to conserve energy and sustain economic growth. To date, the company has developed smart solutions and products that are currently being employed at the national level. Their successful projects include ICT-AI KPK Valley, Intelligent Transportation System ITS, Safe Roads, SCADA, ElectroCure, Smart Disaster Management, and Smart Environment.
Of all their projects, ElectroCure stands out as the cutting-edge electrical device, which is funded by Ignite (Pakistan’s national technology fund), amounting a worth of PKR 39.9 million. As the name suggests, the device is a smart electrical metering system with no competitors in and out of Pakistan. Though built on the global feature of reducing meter theft, it innovates the theme via integrating and real-time data acquisition of theft and other mischievous activities besides metering.
Moreover, ElectroCure will be employed by Jazz telecommunication service in order to palliate energy losses and increase the access of energy through mobile – so to efficiently address the issue of power and energy distribution in Pakistan.
Afiniti is a US-based Pakistani data and software unicorn that singlehandedly uses artificial intelligence to recognize subtle and blue-chip patterns of human interaction to increase the profitability of an enterprise. As of 2017, the company fetched the valuation at $1.6 billion.
Their Pair Batter project analyzes the data related to customer identity to predict patterns of successful interaction and uses these patterns to improve the status in a multitude of sectors, hence driving towards customer satisfaction. To the present date, Afiniti has served across various sectors with 700 million customers and has refined its advanced pairing solution by analyzing 1.3 million interactions daily. Currently, AT&T is using Afiniti’s pairing technology to enhance support to support its 5,000 call center agents.
4. ADDO AI
In 2017, Forbes listed ADDO AI as one of the four leading AI companies in Asia. With its roots based in Pakistan, the company specializes in deep analyses of data lakes and data architecture, data engineering and processing, and development and operation of big data and artificial intelligence models to connect enterprise outcomes with AI.
ADDO AI mainly focuses on developing smart cities with a centralized operating system grounded on AI and machine learning. According to Ayesha Khanna, CEO of ADDO AI,
“What we need is a new social contract that we can agree upon. But I do believe we can put our values into the AI systems that we develop and build a stronger city”
Since its inception in 2017, ADDO AI has crossed the borders of 5 countries, namely Singapore (Headquarter), Germany, UAE (Dubai), Philippines, and Pakistan and has been expanding its services to building serverless and scalable Data Warehouse (DW) for one of the largest airlines services in AI.
RCAI is one of the prospering research institutions in Pakistan that fosters a professional research environment for the development of innovative and cost-effective product design. Currently, this research facility is collaborating with industrial partners, such as Ephlux Karachi and USA. For data collection, the research station is coming up with designs for IoT sensor gadgets.
In 2018, RCAI was funded by Silicon Valley, and currently, has running AI projects that include AIDEE (AI-driven hearing aid) and the Intelligent Irrigation System in collaboration with national and international institutions. Both the projects are under construction, with the Intelligent Irrigation System being tested in the field since 2016. Using this smart technology, about 40% of water was conserved during the last crop cycle.
6. Aqua Agro
Water has long been deemed to vanish from the landscape of the nations that don’t strive to conserve it. In order to retain Pakistan’s status as agricultural land, the National Incubation Center in Karachi came up with an advanced AI-based solution, known as Aqua Agro, to grow more crops without having to waste water and prioritize conservation of water sources.
The system uses IoT-enabled devices to monitor real-time field conditions and regulate the crop water need on the basis of the analysis of the accumulated data. According to The Technology Times, the system has exhibited an efficiency of saving 50% water as compared to water consumption in prior farming practices. In January 2019, the startup ran a crowd-funding campaign on Indigogo as it aimed to deploy the tech equipment to 50 small-scale farmers.
FiveRivers Technologies is an award-winning multifaceted technology company that has been rendering its services in the field of virtualization and system management technology, mobile applications, AI, VR, and IoT. To date, the company has developed 150 applications with 20 million downloads. Moreover, it has developed the smart system of appliance control that manages more than 30 devices with just one app.
Unlike other initiatives, VisionX is a digital innovation company that relies heavily on AI-powered solutions to drive the requirements of its clients.
The company excels in automating and augmenting operational projects, making the zero effort commerce easily available and leveraging smart sales and marketing. According to Crunchbase, VisionX raked at 4,000,673 among the global website ranking, attracting about 4, 695 monthly visits.
Talk about driving the data analytics to the next level and then there is NexDegree. This technology firm caters to their clients’ needs for full stack AI solutions and advanced digital products. Their computer system analysis, fovea.io helps in optimizing and securing the energy-related algorithms to reduce carbon footprint and the cost of energy sources.
The best bit about NexDegree is that it services all kinds of businesses, irrelevant of the industry, hence expanding the domain of its practice on the local as well as on the international front. Furthermore, the company has developed several projects in collaboration with major transport, healthcare, urban development, telecom, natural disaster prediction, and energy conservation as well as e-learning using big data analytics, performance and system engineering, and disruptive products.
Mountainise created the Mountainise Innovative Artificiance (MIA) – an artificially intelligent performance optimization. It is known to increase the business performance by 4 folds without adding additional input into the business. Long story short, MIA utilizes machine learning to analyze information and drive strategies for helping sales and marketing. It recognizes the key indicating patterns of consumer success so to generate more business sales and add scalability.
Moutainise claims as one of the path-breakers in incorporating AI in the digital marketing stream. Of all the Pakistani AI companies, this one laid the foundation for using AI and Machine Learning in 2014 for the integration of an intuitive problem-solving system. Since then, Mountainise has had the privilege of working with Fortune 500 companies, such as Google Partner, Facebook, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Shopify to name a few.
Apart from analyzing big data for improving business sales and optimizing system performance, AI is also being used for generating logos. Logo Design is an online source for creating cost-effective, DIY logos for businesses belonging to any industry. The founder of this AI-integrated software, Zaheer Dodhia remarks that,
“Before I established the company, my experience of working with businesses and startups constantly geared my attention to hardwiring the concept of AI and make it a real-time tech product that is readily available, saves time, is cost-effective, and contributes exclusively to the branding strategies of any business in Pakistan and abroad.”
This design company offers an AI-integrated logo maker software that utilizes logo design patterns in a variety of ways and allows you to choose your desired design from a variety. This tool encompasses over 5000 professional designs that are indistinguishable from the one created by a human designer. In the Pakistani AI-branding landscape, Logo Design is yet another rising star.
12. Tax Dosti
Tax Filing in 30 Minutes Using AI #Pakistan – Tax Dosti (aka Tax Friendship) is a unique initiative when it comes to using AI tax management. Considered as an advancement in the taxation and tax consultancy area, it aims to help the taxpayers file their tax returns using the AI and Machine Technology integrated into the software.
By creating a neat and transparent system of closing audits and improved taxation, Tax Dosti is an AI startup of its own kind that is currently helping the Pakistan Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) become better.
To achieve actionable consumer insights, Analytics Private Limited (APL) believes that companies should treat data as their ultimate asset to gain a competitive advantage in their niche.
The state-of-the-art technology used by APL has been deployed by various international clients, such as Teradata, IBM, Oracle, Microfocus, and MicroStrategy. Moreover, the company collaborated with Microsoft in 2018 to develop the first AI golf Caddie for Arccos. The technology combines automatic shot tracking, golf performance monitoring, advanced analytics, and data-driven caddie advice for any kind of hole to guide the golfers of all skill levels make better decisions and opt for lower scores.
Chatbots are commonly known for running automated tasks but sometimes might fall short of exhibiting any signs of intelligence. But Botisfy stepped forward as a novel approach to the traditional bot system. Integrated as a Facebook messenger chatbot in 2016, this tech startup expanded its reach from social media to serve the commercial market.
Botsify now serves to reduce customer support costs by automatically answering customer questions 24/7 in 10 languages. According to Usama Noman, founder of Botsify,
“At Botsify, we are working for solving your customer support pains, the time you take to respond your customers in the live chat is really crucial, you are losing sales, and conversions when you are not capturing those valuable leads in your live chat who wants to talk to you.”
As being a Pakistani tech startup that received $30K in funding, Botsify sharpened its edge by serving tech giants, such as Apple, Shazam. GRIN, Travelex, and Unicef NZ among many others.
In the Forrester’s Q4 2018 report of 24 AI service providers, Pakistan’s 10Pearls received the privilege of being featured for facilitating AI design and strategy, augmenting data science resources as well as providing digital advancement in business innovation and evolution.
This digital solutions company was founded in 2004 but has been expanding its global reach. Leveraging the experience and expertise of the professionals, 10Pearls extended its global footprint by acquiring PowerStorm (a digital transformation company) with offices in the US and Philippines.
10Pearls spearheads in providing DevOps, SecOps, mobile app development, customer experience, and artificial intelligence services to revolutionize business models of today. This digital transformation company also highly prioritizes in developing and maintaining technological products to accelerate, innovate, and scale product and app development for a multitude of businesses.
Apart from these AI startups steamrolling the tech market of Pakistan, there are also many others that are taking their baby steps to become the next tech nexicorns and unicorns in Pakistan as well as Asia. The reason why startups like these tend to boom is the elevation and advancement of the startup ecosystem as well as the consumer thirst for digitization.
So far, we believe that Pakistan houses some of the best-performing software houses that are not only injecting innovation in the field of AI, but are also paving their way into introducing new ideas about how AI can be used to improve the human and machine nature. And the time will come near when every business will enjoy the fruits that will be leveraged by the AI of today.