Photo: Sierra Bein

Zone Startups India funds vPhrase

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By Sierra Bein

Zone Startups India, the Ryerson DMZ’s sister zone in India, has announced their first co-investment through the accelerator based in Mumbai.

vPhrase, an artificial intelligence data analytics company, has received an undisclosed amount of money from Ryerson Futures and the Chokhani Family Office, a prominent Indian business family, and is the first company of its kind to join the zone.

Founded by Neerav Parekh, vPhrase is a software that makes data reports easier to understand. With their platform, PHRAZOR, they are able to analyze big data and turn it into written reports and natural language using artificial intelligence.

“We always believed in our idea but when people put in their money I think that is the biggest boost of confidence that anyone can give you,” said Parekh. “Being the first company to be invested in by [both Ryerson and the Chokhani Family] also makes us proud.”

With new technology and accessibility, people are starting to see the value in big data. Big data is the term used for data sets that are so large and complex that regular data processing is not able to read it properly. Even Ryerson has recently introduced the Privacy and Big Data Institute.

Parekh, who is from Mumbai himself, always had an interest in business technology. After running a digital marketing agency where he prepared performance reports and presentations, he found people needed more than just numbers to understand data.

“I realized there is a challenge, there is a gap where people are not able to interpret the visualizations, the charts. So there needs to be something that can be explored to explain the charts in words,” said Parekh.

He wanted to create a program to help people understand big data, the same way that he did when he prepared reports and explained his findings to clients — in a narrative format rather than numbers from a computer.

He officially started working on vPhrase in May 2015 and joined Zone Startups shortly after that.

“They took me in, and I’m still a part of that accelerator where they gave us working space and helped us with the business investment and mentoring,” he said.

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