A Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) is a Machine Learning (ML) model, which generates multimedia and in which two neural networks compete with each other by using deep learning methods to become more accurate in their predictions. A more simplistic way of looking at it is that the best AI in a system wins. And that’s what Gan.ai seems to be doing in its particular space.
Started by Stanford alumnus Suvrat Bhooshan in March 2021 and headquartered in the OG Silicon Valley, Gan.ai is a personalized video platform that allows brands to send customers hyper-personalized video messages from celebrities, brand ambassadors and other people you’re likely to pay attention to. It’s like the Shahrukh Khan Cadbury ad, but on steroids, and talking to you, dear reader, directly.
“When someone addresses you by name directly, you’re more likely to pay attention (up to five times as much), and we’ve found that when this happens in ads, consumers are immediately hooked and watch through the whole ad and are more likely to remember both the brand and the product,” shares Bhooshan.
Having previously worked at the AI research labs at Meta (then Facebook), Bhooshan started Gan.ai at a critical moment, when Generative AI was just starting to dominate headlines and business plans. “We were very lucky to be approached by Sequoia. They funded us when we were still in an idea state, it was just me and an idea and we spent all of 2021 building on the core technology behind what we wanted, and we started commercializing this technology in 2022,” says Bhooshan, who moved back to India in December 2020. Gan.ai has since also undergone another round of funding.
“We got early traction in the marketing space and everybody from Swiggy, Zomato, MPL, Samsung, Bajaj, to a lot of others started using us. We are at the stage where we essentially have monopolized the entire Indian market ranging from Unilever, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola. All the large consumer giants and verticals in India and the top three players are in our pipeline at this point. I think it's only a moment of time, where literally any brand that you can think of in India will be using us for a video personalization space,” Bhooshan asserted.
Use cases include when consumers visit an electronics store, for instance, and are served by a customer executive, the next day they’ll get a video message from say, Virat Kohli reminding them of their store visit and their interaction with said executive and asking if they need any more help to finalise that purchase decision and whom to contact and so on.
“Real money gaming used to be quite big for us as well, but as the regulations changed we are reevaluating the whole business outcome. Ecommerce, D2C are other big ones Real Estate in the US is very big for us, and healthcare and real estate in India are quite big for us as well,” he says, adding, “So anywhere you have a consumer marketing funnel, and you have budgets to get in celebrities as brand ambassadors. These mostly tend to be leading smartphone brands, leading automobile brands and leading consumer verticals.”
With the upcoming festive season, Gan.ai has quite a lot of big projects in the bag, stretching from Pujo and Diwali up to Christmas and New Year’s, with clients ranging from liquor brands to beauty product labels. Bhooshan noted that practically every vertical is coming into the personalized video fold.
“Brands realize they can’t afford to be left behind when all their competitors are doing it. The conversion rate of these ads is up to 10 times the generic ones, and the follow-up videos can help consumers return to their abandoned carts and resume purchase journeys. As an investment, it’s more than worth it. It’ll soon be a necessity,” Bhooshan concluded.