An anniversary message from our CEO and Co-Founder to our team, investors and customers

30 March 2020 by Iman Nahvi, Co-Founder & CEO

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you all know, Advertima just turned four and I wanted to send you this message to reflect on what we have achieved together but most importantly to share my vision of what the future for Advertima looks like…

We began with a small team in 2016 and have grown to over 60 staff, now spread over three countries. I can’t believe how far we’ve come and what an amazing journey it’s been.

Four years ago, we decided to create our first product for the Digital Signage market: Advertima Smart Signage. Looking back, this decision was definitely the right one to make, despite the market and our competitors thinking otherwise. At the time, there had been a lack of demand from the relatively sluggish Digital Signage market. In response to that, our competitors put the brakes on developing their technology at its core and gave in to the market. But we pursued our vision, knowing that the right time will come, and built a product that is now winning over the market. And we did not stop there. While we were scaling up our Smart Signage product, we continued to develop our core technology, Advertima Vision Technology, adding new features for the visual interpretation of humans in the physical world. With the retail sector being Advertima Smart Signage’s target market, we were clear on what we needed to create next: Advertima Autonomous Store. This game-changing product will be used not only by the grocery sector but also by cinemas, DIY stores and a whole host of retailers. We will soon present our version of the fully autonomous store to the world. Advertima Autonomous Store will first be launched to our existing retail customers, while we continue to go global with Advertima Smart Signage.

These products were created with the belief that our world will soon be driven by Smart Spaces – smart buildings, smart cities, smart homes and smart retail stores. Before long, all physical environments where we live and interact will be powered by the most advanced applications. They’ll have the ability to anticipate who we are and what we want, with the purpose of making our lives more convenient and enjoyable, while increasing the productivity of our society. A major requirement for such Smart Spaces is interpreting and understanding humans in real time. Most people believe that understanding language is the most important aspect when technology needs to interpret humans and their behavior. But that’s just one element. A comprehensive and real-time view of the visual component is required, inevitable and vitally important to create the Smart Spaces of the future. And that’s where we come in. Advertima Vision Technology will enable the underlying applications of a Smart Space to interpret people in a variety of visual dimensions: physical appearance, body motion, motion in space, visual context and so on. This goal reinforces our vision that by the year 2030, the five globally leading operating systems for Smart Spaces will be driven by the Advertima Vision Technology.

“Before long, all physical environments where we live and interact will be powered by the most advanced applications. They’ll have the ability to anticipate who we are and what we want, with the purpose of making our lives more convenient and enjoyable, while increasing the productivity of our society.”

To achieve our vision, we need to build – from scratch – a comprehensive and multipurpose technology. We are not an e-commerce or a mobile app startup – we are a deep tech startup. The major challenge we face is to determine which components of the multiyear technology roadmap we need to prioritize, while serving the market at the right time with the right products and use cases. This represents a completely different approach compared to most startups, where customer need is first identified, and existing technologies are then used to solve the problem. In our case, it’s the other way around. Despite a constantly changing environment, we need to follow our technology roadmap strictly. But on the other hand, we need to permanently and dynamically iterate on the product and the market approach, since they are continuously impacted by the rapidly changing environment.

Furthermore, the development of deep tech takes a lot of time. We are building a technology with a multiyear roadmap because we know its capabilities will be needed in the near future. We chose this long-term approach in order to ensure the most comprehensive development of our technology, since it will be used as a real-time data source for dozens and hundreds of applications at the same time. Each Smart Space ecosystem will have a single data source for human visual interpretation, not several ones for different applications. What we need to do now, on the way towards our vision, is to find the right applications for our technology – developing one application after the other – while considering the needs and the timing of the market. Advertima Smart Signage and Advertima Autonomous Store are just the beginning of our journey.

“Each Smart Space ecosystem will have a single data source for human visual interpretation, not several ones for different applications.”

All this would not have been possible without you, our key stakeholders, and I would like to express my gratitude.

I want to send out a big thank you to our incredible team at Advertima. Working in a deep tech startup requires patience, steady nerves and assertiveness. Where others would have given up and stepped back into their comfort zones, you have fought your way through, shown strength and loyalty and made Advertima an important collective effort.

Now, what is a startup without customers? Startup customers represent a distinct minority in their markets. They are not risk-averse managers but innovators; they possess an entrepreneurial mindset and want to transform the world in which we live. Understanding innovation management and acting like an entrepreneur is crucial to their business success in the coming years. I want to thank our customers who have understood this fact and taken the opportunity to work and innovate with us.

And of course, we are grateful to our investors. They believe in us, help us grow and stand by us, even during our most challenging times. Not many investors understand the nature of a deep tech startup. We thank our investors for being different. Without them, we would not have made it this far. On behalf of the entire team, thank you.

The next four years will be even more exciting, challenging and rewarding than the previous four. With such supportive stakeholders, such a fantastic team and strong technological foundations, we’re ready to rock!

 

Iman Nahvi