Japanese telecom operator KDDI backs AI-for-fashion startup Mad Street Den

By Binu Paul

  • 06 Sep 2018
Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision technology startup Mad Street Den Systems Pvt. Ltd has secured an undisclosed amount in fresh funding from Japanese telecom operator KDDI.

The investment has been made via KDDI Open Innovation Fund 2, which is managed by Global Brain, a Tokyo-based independent venture capital fund. Global Brain focuses on seed- to mid-stage IT startups in Japan and other countries., the flagship product of Chennai-headquartered Mad Street Den, is an artificial intelligence and image recognition platform for apparel retailers. It caters to both big-box department stores as well as online marketplaces. offers data classification and catalogue data management including AI-based automated data-tagging with attributes, titles, and descriptions, helping businesses improve product discovery and searchability. The company says this reduces operational costs and the time required to digitise a product and go to the market.

The product’s primary feature is a human model generator which generates garment-to-model images, predicting how the garment will fit on a person. Its algorithms also analyse the extracted catalogue data with user behaviour to help clients automate their processes and reduce costs. In turn, this helps fashion brands improve customer experience while shopping online.

Mad Street Den’s clientele includes fashion brands, online retailers and marketplaces including Levi's, Macy's, Diesel, Tata Cliq, and Hopscotch.

The firm was launched in September 2013 by husband-wife duo Ashwini Asokan and Anand Chandrasekaran. Before starting Mad Street Den, Asokan worked with Intel Corporation. Chandrasekaran previously worked at Zort Technologies and Evolved Machines Inc, among other companies.

Mad Street Den has raised institutional funding in the past. 

In its last funding round, it secured an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital India and existing investors Exfinity Venture Partners and GrowX Ventures. The firm raised $1.5 million (about Rs 9 crore) in seed funding in January 2015 from Exfinity Venture Partners and GrowX Ventures.

Virtual trial room startup Try & Buy Fashions Pvt. Ltd is among the other AI-based startups catering to the fashion segment. 

Delhi-based Try & Buy’s virtual trial room comes with an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered stylist that creates life-like 3D models of users based on their body types. 

Last month, the startup raised $1 million (Rs 7 crore) in a pre-Series A round from funding and incubation platform Venture Catalysts.

Hyderabad-based Fabulyst Pvt. Ltd operates an artificial intelligence-based platform which emulates a personal stylist and assists women shoppers at fashion stores. It had raised Rs 1.4 crore ($216,000) in seed funding from iB Hubs, a launchpad-cum-accelerator for startups, last year.

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