raises $1.5 mn in pre-seed funding round from investors raises $1.5 mn in pre-seed funding round from investors

Chiratae Ventures and 9Unicorns led the round to the early-stage startup.


MUMBAI:, an emotion AI and engagement analytics platform has raised a pre-seed funding round of $1.5 million from investors Chiratae Ventures and 9Unicorns. The other investors participating include Anthill Ventures and AI-led video-editing company, VideoVerse. The funds raised by this early-stage start-up will be deployed to deepen the datasets for their machine-learning technology & expand the product offering of emotion and engagement insights gathered from a user’s video, audio and speech inputs for a variety of industries. 

Lightbulb is the brainchild of second-time entrepreneurial trio - Ritu Srivastava, Yogesh Sachdeva and Vishal Soni – who have earlier built and exited Obino, a digital health & weight-loss coaching start-up, that offered health-management solutions across a variety of health conditions. Their successful exit to US-based health conglomerate Roundglass Partners in 2017, paved the way for their next venture. With a minimum viable product (MVP) launch in late 2021, Lightbulb has had an opportunity to validate its product and market hypotheses before zeroing in on its go-to-market (GTM) plans.

With four patents already in the pipeline and datasets spanning millions of faces across geographies and ethnicities, Lightbulb aims to help businesses that offer remote user experiences, to solve for higher engagement by mapping user emotion & engagement in real-time! From analysing user engagement during live meetings/calls to researching the emotional impact of pre-recorded content and asynchronous user experiences on consumers, Lightbulb offers nuanced solutions that are relevant to industries such as online learning, sales enablement and consumer research. 

With insights from early customers pouring in, Lightbulb is fast-tracking growth on its multi-modal product & this early-stage capital infusion will help accelerate in building its product & engineering teams, particularly in the fields of data science, machine learning and consumer insights and prepare itself for an early launch in the US market. The company was exclusively advised on this transaction by PepperTree, an advisory firm run by ex-bankers Akshi Mehta & Ankur Goyal. co-founder and CEO Ritu Srivastava said, “We are privileged to be supported by some of India's most prestigious early-stage institutional investors, with vast experience in helping deep-tech B2B SAAS companies build & scale global products in international markets. And are deeply grateful for the trust that they have placed in us at this early stage!” 

Co-founder & CPO Vishal Soni said, “Customer decisions are emotional & not rational! Since current feedback modes are post-facto, by the time actionable intelligence reaches decision makers, opportunities are lost. Lightbulb enables businesses to measure emotion data & transmit actionable insights to decision-makers in real-time, helping them acquire and retain better.”

Co-founder & CTO Yogesh Sachdeva said, “Our focus is now on developing a powerful platform that can power significant value-adding emotion ai products with high accuracy levels across ethnicities and age groups & applicability across multiple industries.”

“Leveraging an intelligent emotion recognition platform through video interaction, Lightbulb is leading the next wave of innovation in this space. We are excited to partner with the founding team at Lightbulb, as they disrupt leading industries like education, banking, mental wellness etc," said Chiratae Ventures India Advisors founder & chairman Sudhir Sethi.

9Unicorns Accelerator Fund co-founder & managing director Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma said, “While emotion ai is at a nascent stage, it is an exponentially growing technology with a wide variety of use-cases across multiple industries. holds the potential to be relevant across multiple market verticals and that is a strong indicator of how valuable the company will be in the future. As the world becomes more chaotic, the importance of emotion AI will only grow. We are excited to support the team as they enhance the accessibility and utility of emotion AI.”

“We are excited to support at this stage of its growth trajectory. They have shown great promise so far and we are deeply interested in the solutions that they are building for media and consumer research markets. Media tech is an explosively growing field and we are sure that Lightbulb will be able to make a clear space for itself in this market and scale with speed!”, said Anthill ventures CEO Prasad Vanga.

“As a company that also harnesses the power of AI, we recognise the potential that emotion AI has as a technology. We are thrilled to be a part of this journey and are confident the team will build a long-term product solution with strong fundamentals,” said Videoverse strategy lead Siddhant Bhandari.