In the modern digital age, creating eye-catching visual content is more important than ever. With millions of images and videos jostling for people's attention, companies are challenged to find ways to make their content stand out. However, creating high-quality visual content can be time-consuming and pricey, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. This is where artificial intelligence kicks in.
AI technology promises to be a revolutionary tool in advertising and marketing, enabling brands to tell their stories more effectively and have a broader impact. Among the massive bunch of AI-powered tools available, one such tool is the automated enhancement of low-resolution images that allows marketers and entrepreneurs to focus on other vital aspects of their campaigns while also enabling companies to create professional visuals on a large scale without spending a fortune.
Today's story is about Claid.ai, a Ukrainian company that has created a powerful AI-based tool for enhancing the quality and resolution of photos on e-commerce platforms. To gain some insights into the development of this groundbreaking technology, we talked to the brand's co-founders, Sofia Shvets and Vlad Pranskevičius.
Year & place of establishment: 2017, Kyiv, Ukraine
Founders: Sofiia Shvets, 29 and Vlad Pranskevičius, 33
The number of employees: 39
Current location: remote-first (headquarter in SF, US)
1. How and when did you come up with the idea of Claid.ai?
Claid.ai is the second product of our company, which became a logical continuation of the one started in late 2017 - early 2018. At that time, we created Let's Enhance technology, which improves the quality of visual content. Our first target audience was photographers and designers, but after some time, we realized that we were receiving more requests from businesses. They had more detailed and focused requests, so in fact, Claid.ai became the next project born from Let's Enhance. It is focused specifically on e-commerce and the specific requirements of marketplaces, retailers, and e-commerce in general.
2. Well, AI: why did you choose it? What inspired you to start an AI company in Ukraine, and how does your company aim to contribute to the world tech ecosystem?
We started working with AI technologies because they are one of the most dynamic research areas, allowing us to create previously impossible things with traditional software. Past technologies and algorithms didn't work for our visual content recovery tasks, so we were very interested in implementing stalwart AI research for content creation and design purposes. Therefore, AI became a logical new approach for us to use in creating new products that can achieve what was once considered out of reach.
We started in Ukraine because we know this market well and are both from Ukraine. Additionally, it was easy for us to recruit good specialists in Ukraine. However, we have always had a global focus since day one.
3. What role do you see your service playing in the nearest future? How you see the impact of your AI solution on other markets.
We recently launched a new AI product, Claid Scene Creation, which plain product photos into beautiful visual assets with AI that allow for the generation of creatives for advertising companies and marketing materials.
This is a completely new approach to creating previously impossible content and has the potential to change the photography industry, design industry, and the entire industry of creating visual content on a large scale and in near-real-time.
What makes this AI technology possible? In the past, organizing a photoshoot required hiring a photographer, setting up lighting, and other production expenses, making it a very expensive option. With modern AI technologies, world-class productions can be created using only software, allowing brands to tell their stories much better than by organizing photoshoots.
4. How has the company grown since the very first day by now?
At first, we had a small team of just a few people, and during the first two years, we were a family-sized company. However, with the onset of the pandemic and the launch of Claid.ai, we began to experience rapid growth. In 2021, we closed a Seed Round led by a Chamaeleon, a Silicon-valley based VC fund, with the participation of Acrobator, Hype Ventures, and Margo Georgiadis as an angel investor. At that time, our team had almost doubled in size. Currently, we have 40 team members located across 15 countries.
5. Your biggest achievement for the last year? Can you share any success stories or case studies that demonstrate the impact your AI technology has had on businesses or organizations?
Last year, we began working with Rappi, the largest marketplace for delivering goods and food in Latin America. With the help of our solution, they were able to reduce the onboarding process for new merchants by 80% and improve operations related to content viewing and optimization in general.
6. What challenges you the most?
For us, the most significant challenges are technological in nature. We aim to create a breakthrough technology that can enhance and create visual content at a new level. Additionally, we face the challenge of creating a new version of our product, an AI-first product that utilizes UX in a completely novel way and fundamentally changes how everyday users interact with software. Therefore, the main challenge is to create a cutting-edge, high-tech solution while ensuring that it is easy for users to understand and adopt the technological complexity.
7. Your vision and big mission?
Our mission is to create a next-gen AI content tool for businesses and help them succeed.
8. Your biggest insights from entrepreneurship? What is your superpower?
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to be lean and flexible. It seems to us that this is the superpower of every Ukrainian. Over the past few years, we have faced various challenges throughout our entrepreneurship journey, including adapting to a pandemic, a war, and even working in the conditions of a global recession. The biggest insight we've gained is that stability is never guaranteed, and a lean approach and adaptability are essential for success in entrepreneurship.
9. How can your AI startup leverage the unique strengths and talents of Ukraine's tech workforce?
Ukraine has a strong mathematical school. We're proud to develop our technology here, and we're proud to show that we are a Ukrainian product. As a Ukrainian product, we believe our unique strengths lie in our talented mathematicians, researchers, and engineers. Additionally, our persistent, problem-solving mindset drives us to seek solutions instead of making excuses.
10. And now, how are YOU doing?
Trying to keep mind calm and clear and work towards common victory.
As you can see, AI is currently the most progressive field, as it opens up unprecedented opportunities for users. We invite you to test an AI-based tool for enhancing the quality and resolution of photos by the innovative Ukrainian company Claid.ai together with Spend with Ukraine.
Keep an eye out for more stories about innovative Ukrainian brands and spend with Ukraine to stand with Ukraine.