I am pleased to welcome Occipital in to the K9 Ventures’ portfolio. The company announced today that it is raising $7M in a Series A led by the Foundry Group. I am pleased to be joining the Board of Directors for Occipital along side Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld of Foundry Group and Gary Bradski (creator of OpenCV) of Willow Garage.
Occipital, founded by Jeffrey Powers and Vikas Reddy, is the leading company in the space of mobile computer vision. The company entered the space with The ClearCam application which used super-resolution techniques to allow the iPhone camera to take pictures that were sharper and of higher resolution than the native camera application ever permitted. Occipital really made it’s mark with the RedLaser application, which garnered millions of downloads on the AppStore and with the RedLaser SDK became the default for anyone doing barcode scanning on an iPhone.
In June 2010, The Occipital team sold RedLaser to eBay and embarked on the next phase of their journey to build the next generation of mobile computer vision applications and to build a platform that mobile developers can rely on to build new experiences. Their first new application for this is 360 Panorama – which lets you capture and interact with panoramic images directly from your mobile phone with just a swoop of your hand.
The ‘phone’ is not just a phone any more (especially the iPhone since sometimes you can’t even use it to make phone calls! ). It is a computational device in your pocket which surpasses the compute power of most super computers of yester-years and is loaded with sensors – the most important sensor being the camera. Occipital is the company that will unleash the power of your phone and its camera with a host of interesting new applications and a platform for developers to bring computer vision into their own applications.
I first met Jeff and Vikas in September 2008 when then presented at the TechStars Demo Day in Silicon Valley. These two young grads from the University of Michigan Computer Science blew me away with what they were capable of building within just a few months. I have been an active yet informal advisor to the company ever since. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Jeff and Vikas and I would venture to state that they are the best team out there for doing mobile computer vision.
I’m very excited to formalize our relationship and welcome Occipital to the K9 Ventures portfolio. Looking forward to continuing to work with you guys and play a little tiny part in how you change the way we interact with the world.