Our first interaction with Shubham, Hari and Vrushali was back in 2017 when they were building Norah, a disruptive engine which could create compelling content for gaming companies using AI. We were blown away by the technology and the team. Since then, the team faced many challenges in commercializing Norah and along the way found a much more monetizable opportunity in the new avatar of their technology in launching Pyxis!
They say old love dies hard. So was the case with us. When we met them again earlier this year, we were smitten by the way they approached a disruptive solution for an old marketing automation problem - how can one fundamentally change the cost of customer acquisition for B2C companies, which is often quite significant at scale.
In general, at pi, we like startups which are solving Old Problems (Old Market) using New Product (technology). In this quadrant, typically the market is mature and the companies can find product market fit in a cost effective way.
So, what does Pyxis do and why are we excited about them. Pyxis is an AI based marketing automation pipeline engine. Let us break that down a bit. The first stage of the engine is to help generate creatives at scale (order of 1000s) automatically which are suitable for the brand. Then the next engine which is the targeting engine figures out the best match between the 1000s of creatives to pico buckets of the audience. Normally when done manually, the bucketization of the creatives as well as audience is not fine enough to bring out the best match. The third stage of the pipeline monitors the performance of the creatives with the audience and fine tunes that in real time making smaller decisions. All the three stages learn from the data generated so far getting better and better with time. This is a highly sophisticated use of AI in a multi stage optimization across the pipeline.
At scale, Pyxis is able to lower the cost of the acquisition for their customers by 30-40% using this pipeline. That is a significant saving for their customers. It is disruptive as their marketing automation engine is able to work at pico fragmentation level and optimize across stages to deliver the overall value.
We believe that this is a global problem across the world and Pyxis is well positioned to capture the market from here.
In every early stage investment, the team plays a very crucial role in the decision making process for an investor. Pyxis is led by Shubham, a very dynamic leader backed with a strong technical mind in Vrushali and a rock like support from Hari. They are all classmates and go back a long way. Their journey has not been easy to get where they are. Inspite of their young age, they have persisted and prevailed when the challenges have come their way. Expect no less in the future from this team. We feel privileged to be working with them alongside co-investors, Chiratae and Exifnity Ventures!
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