Gotcha Technology Is Pushing The Boundaries Of Emotion AI

by Marios Roussos
Gotcha AI Armenia

The vibrant tech startup ecosystem in Armenia, and the new ventures

Have you ever wondered, how human behaviour changes throughout different cultures? And, can artificial intelligence, translate correctly the meanings behind the messages? Well, now you have, and Gotcha wants to find more answers to these issues. 

How and what are the main challenges will tell us in her second part of the interview, Anna Gevorgyan, one of the founders and Chief Executive Officer of Gotcha Technology. She talked about lessons from Armenia for Cyprus and their plans to expand to Asia and the US.

Challenging expansion

What are your primary target markets, and what specific opportunities or challenges do you see in regions like India, Asia, and China?

So far, our focus markets have primarily been Armenia and India. Now, with our strategic partner Johannes (Harry) Westbroek, who recently joined us as Chief Strategy Officer, we are targeting Europe as well. Next year, we plan to expand into Asia and the US.

There are specific challenges in India, Asia, and China related to traditional business practices, where relationships play a crucial role. Building rapport precedes discussions of partnership. I’ve observed that in India, face-to-face interactions are preferred for establishing trust, unlike in Europe where remote connections can quickly foster business relationships. Additionally, Despite this, we’ve secured one customer in the Indian market and have several others interested. We are actively engaging in the Indian market because our research shows a strong interest in delivering high-quality customer service, which is paramount to them. Furthermore, India is one of the fastest-growing markets globally.

How does Gotcha Technology ensure accuracy and reliability in different languages and dialects, such as German and Chinese?

The only area we have not ventured into is voice analysis. We made this decision initially, thinking that after speech recognition and gesture analysis, voice analysis would naturally follow. The reasons for this decision are as follows:

  • There are very few voice experts worldwide, and developing anything substantial in this field requires their involvement.
  • Voice alone cannot effectively determine emotions; even under optimal conditions, it complements facial expressions, polygraph readings, gestures, and more.
  • Unlike facial micro-expressions, voice lacks universality. Each region, city, or even dialect within a country requires a unique voice analysis model. For instance, Italy alone boasts approximately 30 dialects and minority languages recognized by UNESCO, each with distinct vocabularies and intonations. This diversity necessitates the development of 30 distinct models for Italy alone.
  • In our research of German and Chinese languages, we discovered the challenges in accurately discerning emotions via voice due to various expressions, words, and intonations that do not necessarily indicate heightened aggression or other emotions.

Armenia has seen the emergence of several notable unicorn companies in recent years

Growing Armenia

Can you describe the current startup ecosystem in Armenia? What factors contribute to the emergence of deep tech startups and unicorns in the region?

Over the past 5–6 years, the Armenian startup ecosystem has experienced rapid growth. Not only am I a co-founder of Goctah, but I also co-founded the Angel Investors Club of Armenia, one of the key players in the Armenian ecosystem. Over this period, our club has expanded to include over 45 investors who have collectively invested in 30+ startups.

Armenia has witnessed the rise of a prominent unicorn company, PicsArt, which was originally founded in Yerevan and is now headquartered in San Francisco. In 2021, PicsArt achieved unicorn status with a valuation of $1.5 billion, making it the only unicorn company in the region.

Several factors contribute to the emergence of deep tech startups in Armenia:

  • Educational Foundation: Armenia has a strong tradition in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, with institutions like the American University of Armenia and the National Polytechnic University of Armenia playing a critical role in nurturing talent​.
  • Cultural and Entrepreneurial Spirit: There is a growing entrepreneurial spirit among the Armenian youth, driven by a desire to innovate and address global challenges through technology. This cultural shift towards embracing entrepreneurship and innovation fuels the growth of deep-tech startups​.
  • Diaspora Networks: The Armenian diaspora significantly contributes to the tech ecosystem by providing mentorship, investment, and global networking opportunities.
  • Startup Ecosystem and Infrastructure: The presence of angel clubs, technology parks, incubators, and accelerators provides startups with essential resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities. These platforms help startups scale their operations and access international markets​.
  • Access to Global Markets and Funding: Armenian startups are increasingly attracting international investment from venture capitalists and tech giants. The success of companies like PicsArt and ServiceTitan has put Armenia on the map, making it an attractive destination for investors looking for innovative deep-tech solutions​​.

These factors collectively contribute to the vibrant tech startup ecosystem in Armenia, fostering the emergence of deep tech startups and unicorns in the region.

How has the support from local organizations and investors influenced Gotcha Technology’s growth?

We secured our initial funding from an AICA angel investor who was enthusiastic about our idea and invested $150,000, even before we had a complete MVP. Following this investment, we established and registered our first legal entity, expanded our team, developed an MVP, and created several models for various use cases.

What opportunities do you see for startups and tech companies in Cyprus? Any experience with that?

Currently, we do not have such experience. But as a part of Europe, we are going to work on Cyprus’s market too. Cyprus offers a range of opportunities for startups and tech companies, driven by a favourable business environment, strategic location, and supportive government policies.

  • Funding and Investment: Cyprus has seen a rise in venture capital and investment funds targeting startups.
  • Strategic Location and Infrastructure: Cyprus’s location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa makes it an attractive hub for international business
  • Regulatory and Tax Benefits: Cyprus offers a favourable tax regime, with one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU.
  • Innovation Ecosystem: The growing innovation ecosystem includes incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces that support startups.

These factors collectively make Cyprus an attractive destination for startups and tech companies looking to establish and grow their operations in a dynamic and supportive environment.

We strive to contribute to a world where technology enhances emotional connections

Looking forward – Never give up!

What are your long-term goals and vision for Gotcha Technology?

Our vision at Gotcha is to be the global leader in emotion recognition technology, revolutionizing the way people engage with technology and each other. By pushing the boundaries of emotional AI, we strive to contribute to a world where technology enhances emotional connections, fosters understanding, and promotes positive societal impact.

Our vision at Gotcha, as a Startup, is to transcend industry boundaries and ascend to UNICORN status as the foremost innovator in emotion recognition technology. As we journey towards this coveted milestone, we envision a future where our unicorn status symbolizes unparalleled success, disruption, and global influence. By pioneering advancements in emotion AI, we strive to redefine human-machine interaction, leaving an indelible mark on the tech landscape. Our unicorn mission is not just about reaching astronomical valuation but about ushering in an era where emotion recognition becomes synonymous with transformative, empathetic, and universally impactful technology, making us the unicorn of choice for those seeking groundbreaking solutions.

Are there any upcoming projects or innovations you’re particularly excited about?

Absolutely, we are currently engaged in thrilling developments! We are embarking on a new venture in a previously unexplored business use case and industry, with our investigative model. At this stage, we cannot disclose the name of the holding company involved. Additionally, we are pioneering a revolutionary technology for the healthcare industry—an entirely fresh and innovative concept. More information will be revealed next year.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women, looking to enter the tech industry?

Never give up! Pursue your dream by turning it into a plan and taking action. Every woman has immense love, passion, and incredible energy within her, which, when combined with hard work and a great team, can achieve amazing results! No one can achieve great things alone, regardless of gender. Great things are accomplished with a great team.


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