This Kerala startup’s AI app helps small businesses design branding materials

The Wizad team that developed the AI-backed app which empowers small businesses to create impactful marketing designs. Photo: Special arrangement

A business may be small, but its ambition to become a brand never is. But then the problem is that many of the small and medium businesses do not have the expertise or expenditure to brand themselves. Nor do they have an exposure to the evolving advertising industry. Wizad, a tech startup founded by three Kerala youth, is trying to address these concerns with their AI-based design app.

The Wizad platform automatically generates brand-specific designs including taglines. The app can fix colour schemes, fonts, images and patterns a brand requires. Incorporated in 2021, the company’s targetted market is small and medium businesses who cannot spend big on advertising but are eager to occupy their space in the sprawling cyber world. The app features a range of design options that includes festival posters, product displays, promotional material and digital business cards. The company claims to have nearly 6,000 clients who have downloaded nearly 50,000 AI-generated images from their platform.

The company has been founded by Sanid, an alumnus of CET and University of Woolongong, Australia, along with Pranav Varma (alumnus of CET, IIM-Nagpur) and Arwitvik Puravankara (alumnus of National Institute of Technology Calicut) as co-founders.

Covid wisdom

Wizad is not Sanid’s first venture. He and Arwitvik used to run an advertising agency. “During the Covid pandemic days, several small businesses, who were associated with us asked if it would be possible to make promotional materials at an affordable rate. It was difficult for us to do it manually as it involved a lot of costs. It was then that the idea of an automated platform struck us,” Sanid told Onmanorama. Wizad was born as the duo brought onboard Pranav also.

Wizad has developed its app – both android and ios versions – on its own. However, they did not launch it to the public all at once. “Initially, we took up orders and created the designs on our own. It was during this Onam season that we released it to the public. We wanted to know how many people would be ready to pay for the product and we could see an overwhelming response,” Sanid said.

The Onam campaign was done in association with the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). The campaign, which encouraged small enterprises to create their own Onam-themed promo cards, has encouraged the startup to run similar campaigns during various festival seasons across the country.

Revenue and funds

The startup follows what it calls a credit system wherein a client can pay a small sum which will allow her to download a limited number of images without Wizad’s watermark. Though the app has become fully functional, the company also follows its previous business model for a few loyal clients.

The company, which is housed in Kerala Technology Innovation Zone at Kalamassery, has received a productization grant from KSUM (Rs 7 lakh), alongside a seed fund of Rs 25 lakh from Startup India.

Sanid is well aware of the potential competition in the market where generative AI apps are being launched quite frequently. He is confident that the company will survive because it has a solid targetted market of small businesses and a product tailor-made for its potential clients.

(Startup Saturday is Onmanorama’s weekend series featuring promising startups from Kerala. Find the previous stories here.)

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