CamFind is the world’s first successful mobile visual search engine, providing users the ability to search and discover anything just by taking a picture with your mobile phone. Boasting 2M+ downloads, several hundred thousand active users and strong retailer licensing partnerships, CamFind’s mission is to become the global leader in image recognition and mobile visual search. Today, Ian Parnes, Senior Director, Business Development joins us to discuss the company, the state of visual search, and where CamFind fits into the LA tech ecosystem.
Tell us about the product or service.
CamFind’s mission is to become the global leader in image recognition and mobile visual search. We aim to deliver the most superior and state-of-the-art image recognition solution to people and companies around the world through our breakthrough consumer-facing app, CamFind, and integration with our public API, CloudSight. CamFind, the world’s first successful mobile visual search engine, provides users the ability to “Search the Physical World” allowing for the search and discovery of anything just by taking a picture with your mobile phone.
How is it different?
CamFind helped pioneer the world of mobile visual search by creating the first solution that would provide a response to every image request, 100% of the time. This changed the face of visual search in that it was no longer just a novelty, but a utility that could be used to actually find and discover products and things online without having to type your search query.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
CamFind as a search engine is looking to remove the friction of translating a thought into an actual text query. This would be a major shift in consumer behavior and one that would affect the $500B+ online search market. We have also been licensing our technology to major retailers, media conglomerates, cell phone manufacturers among many other industries looking to integrate a solution to allow their products to see. The licensing market is worth several billion dollars annually and growing significantly as the technology is just beginning to penetrate the market.
What is the business model?
Currently we offer contextual advertising (as one of several advertising methods) in our consumer-facing app, CamFind. We also license our technology to businesses looking to implement image recognition or visual search into their product offerings.
Our co-founders, Dominik and Brad, have worked together for over 13 years, initially on two site level search engines. After reading a study by eMarketer in 2011 that showed traditional desktop search declining for the first time in history (with mobile of course increasing) they wanted to offer a new solution for this growing market. Google did and continues to do an amazing job of making the world’s information universally understood; however, knowing that there was friction in the process of translating what a user may want into a format a search engine can accept, they sought to create a product that would make the physical world universally understood as well.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Closing our next round of funding, growing the CamFind user base, bringing on more major licensing partners and continuing to improve upon our industry leading image recognition and mobile visual search technology.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Andreessen Horowitz would certainly be one of a few we would love to be put in touch with as we believe we have an idea that will change the world, and that is the creed on which they have built their business.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
It means a great deal to us. When CamFind first started, if you asked many people around the world some of the cities leading technological innovation with a burgeoning startup scene, LA was not initially thought of as part of this group. Today, Silicon Beach and the greater LA area are well known hubs for the startup world. Certainly Snapchat and other local companies that have seen enormous growth have played a major role in that, but we’re very proud to be part of a scene that is alive and well, and we plan to help continue to contribute to it.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
Silicon Valley is partly fueled by top notch universities that foster entrepreneurship. Los Angeles isn’t lacking in that area either, so growing those communities would be a great start. More events, more opportunities, more growth, more investment. We’re seeing all of this happen though so it’s very exciting.
What’s your favorite after work activity in Los Angeles?
Anything beach related. Taking advantage of the weather is a must in Southern California.