Q&A: Daniel Martinho-Corbishley, Co-founder, Aura Vision Labs
RTIH: Tell us about yourself
DMC: Aura Vision Labs helps brands and retailers understand why their customers buy offline, with pioneering behavioural demographic insights. Our unique deep learning video processing technology generates deep visitor analytics in unprecedented detail from any camera, delivering actionable insights via our intuitive cloud dashboard.
RTIH: What was the inspiration behind setting the company up?
DMC: Jaime Lomeli (the other co-founder) and I studied our PhDs at the University of Southampton in computer vision and machine learning and were both totally inspired by the incredible developments in the field. Jaime had already co-founded a successful startup and I had worked part-time as a machine learning engineer, so we realised it was prime time to start building a business based on our specialist knowledge.
RTIH: What has been the industry reaction thus far?
DMC: The industry reactions thus far have been incredible. Our first public outing was with our University's Future Worlds incubator at CES in Las Vegas, January this year. We were inundated with interest from a whole range of verticles, which led to our pre-seed investment round and a number of proof-of-concept projects where we were able to demonstrate our technology.
RTIH: What has been your biggest challenge/setback?
DMC: The biggest challenge we've faced has been the shear scope of interest, resulting from the massive range of applications which our technology can be applied to. We’re now wholly focused on understanding the shopper journey and measuring the precise influence of marketing campaigns on each consumer segment, as we believe we can have the most impact in these areas with our tech.
RTIH: What are the biggest challenges facing the omnichannel retail sector right now?
DMC: The biggest challenge in omnichannel retail seems to be the data divide between the online and offline worlds. As commerce shifts online, it benefits from massive amounts of digital behavioural consumer data. However, 91% of all retail purchases are still made offline, yet there’s still a huge discrepancy in the breadth and depth of data available here. Retailers and brands simply don’t know why offline purchasing decisions happen, which means targeted campaigns and store layout optimisation is still somewhat a guessing game.
RTIH: What's the best question about your company asked of you recently by a.) an investor and b.) a customer?
DMC: The biggest question asked by our future potential customers is ‘when can I get access to it?’ and from our investors is ‘when I can invest?’. Right now we’re running a number of proof-of-concepts with our early adopters to hone our platform and make it as valuable and easy to use and deploy as possible. Once everything is pinned down, we’ll be opening access to a few more clients and looking to raise our seed investment round.
RTIH: What can we expect to see from Aura Vision Labs over the next 12 months?
DMC: In the next 12 months we’ll be working with several more retailers and brands, so you can look forward to seeing our technology in action on the London High Street and hearing much more about Aura Vision as developments unfold.