In this selfie-driven world, Sahil, Dhanvanti and Navin Karia decided to bring in a new concept to this craze. They started the Unifie app that lets individuals take selfies with anyone across the globe in real time.
This Mumbai-based startup targets millennial, people in long-distance relationships, family members and tourists, and helps them create memories using machine learning technology. The Unifie app accurately locate users from different parts of the world and place them in one single photo in real time.
Sahil started Unifie after his parents couldn’t make it to his graduation ceremony in New Zealand. “I really wanted a photo with them. The only alternative then was photoshop, learn how to use it or morph an image, and all that was not very optimal,” he says.
Sahil has previously worked at Ebos Group in New Zealand and has a master’s degree in International Business from the University Of Waikato. Co-founder and his wife Dhanvanti Karia holds a bachelor’s in accounting from the London School of Economics.
Sahil’s cousin and co-founder Naveen is a commerce graduate and also has a bachelor’s degree in interior designing from Rachana Sansad’s Academy of Architecture, Mumbai.
Unifie’s unique app features
Unifie allows one to chat and make video calls using Unifie like any other messenger apps. But, there is a twist!
“With the app, if your friend is in London and you are in Bengaluru, you can make a video call to them and the video will be in landscape mode with two people being in two halves. Click a photo and within 15-20 seconds the two people will be with the same background (London or Bengaluru) in real time,” explains Sahil.
One has to use the Unifie app for this to work. You can either click a ‘unified’ selfie during a video call over the app, or take individual selfies on the app and merge them without a call. Users need to make sure that the selfies are taken at eye-level. Unifie is like a social sharing app where users can see what their contacts have uploaded.
At present, the app allows you to take selfies one by one, but the team plans to add group selfies soon.
Launched this June, the app has half a million downloads already and claims to be fastest growing to become one of the top 50 apps.
Available worldwide and present in 106 countries, Sahil says that only 50 percent of its user base is in India.
Building from the ground up
It took around a year for the team to build the product. “We are a team of seven people today, but it was a bit challenging when we started it. Since neither I nor my co-founders come from a technical background, we had trouble finding a team that is both reliable and good at machine learning,” says Sahil.
Initially the team tied up with influencers on Instagram, who promoted them through posts.
Unifie is yet to generate revenue, but it plans to earn by selling different backgrounds as a premium feature. For example, if a person in India wants a Paris background or wants to be in the same frame with a celebrity, they will have to pay.Since the team has not started charging anything yet, the app is free to use.
Bootstrapped with $50,000, the team is looking out for investors.
In future, Unifie intends to license its technology to other messaging apps, or help other sectors and industries like VFX, matrimony (to see how the match look together).
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