Innovation during Corona is launching us to outer space!

Like most other businesses, we too faced some unprecedented challenges during the pandemic. Nevertheless, we managed to keep innovating, which led us to exploring interesting industries and usecases.

It was in the year 2012 that Appu Shaji switched from the world of academia to that of entrepreneurship. What attracted him most to carry through this change was the explicit sense of value creation: building solutions that would be used by thousands of people for problem solving. This is the goal behind the creation of Mobius Labs, making computer vision technology accessible to every application, device and process.

The idea is to develop and transform computer vision technology so radically that it could do things that were previously simply part of science fiction. There are three pillars of innovation that foster the development of innovative technology at Mobius Labs: scientific fervour, which pushes the barrier of what is technologically possible; productization, to help us build a product that can be used by anyone to create business value; and a robust business model which allows us to effectively demonstrate our technology in the market.

However, with the novel corona pandemic reaching Europe in March 2020, several aspects of the business faced unprecedented challenges.

The novel coronavirus 

There was a market shutdown on the B2B side, which forced the company to revisit, reevaluate and innovate the commercialization of our technology. The traditional methodologies that the company had set up to ensure smooth and efficient working with customers and clients were rendered ineffective. Customer relationship management was greatly hindered with in-person meetings, conferences and trade shows being completely cancelled.

Before the pandemic hit, we interacted and engaged with people personally in order to understand their business needs in a comprehensive way. This avenue was no longer a possibility after March 2020. The pandemic also radically altered our company culture. There was no remote working culture at the company before. But when the COVID cases started rising and it was clear that the health threats were very real and dangerous, we decided to modify the way we work at the company.

We were one of the first companies in the city to become fully virtual by as early as the third week of March 2020. We switched to a fully digital commercial model and discovered innovative ways to build trust with our clients and audiences, and started delving into market needs via digital channels. We started growing our team, formed a marketing department, and took all our lead generation efforts online.

The entire company took to remote working. This meant that we had to adjust all our processes to support our open and collaborative company culture. With team members now working from different physical locations, we adopted tools like Asana, Slack, and Miro and made it a point to keep updating them regularly. As the team was growing, we had to on-board new colleagues without meeting them in person. We put a proper virtual onboarding process in place, and arranged virtual meet-ups to ensure that the new Mobians felt engaged and motivated when they joined the company.

The team!

We discovered that the remote working culture has several positive aspects to it. One of the most significant aspects of this was a better balance between work and personal life with reduced commuting times. Remote working actually fostered more collaboration between the different departments.

Despite the novel circumstances of the pandemic, we managed to achieve several significant milestones. By the end of the financial year of 2020, Mobius Labs surpassed the €1 million ARR, and we are now working towards achieving a €3 million mark by the end of this year. Continuous, innovative research led to the development of our latest feature, Superhuman Search, an out-of-the-box, no-code visual search solution that works without any metadata. With this feature, one can search for images using extremely detailed, subtle and wide variety of specifications. This revolutionary way of searching for visual content enables the identification and sorting of huge photo archives that have been simply lying around for ages.

Superhuman Search can find images linked to ideas and concepts.

Our computer vision solution is extremely suitable for deployment on edge devices, which allows us to explore a number of different, interesting sectors and use cases. Among others, we are currently expanding into outer space and are in works with satellite manufacturers and drone companies.

At the heart of our company is the people who work here. The key is to create an environment where the entire team genuinely likes the work they are doing; each individual effort then adds up to create collective achievements regardless of whether we work together in the office or remotely from home. We believe that post-pandemic, we will see a hybrid office culture which will be a mix of what we had pre-COVID and what we currently have. The pandemic has pushed people to adopt digital technologies very quickly; and we foresee a mass adoption of computer vision technology in the near future with almost every camera, mobile, satellite and other edge devices using it. As a company, our goal is to assist, support and power these applications for multiple sectors when this happens.




Author: Trisha Mandal, Content and Comms Werkstudent, Mobius Labs.

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