Creating a user-first world with Humanify Technologies

Mumbai-based Humanify Technologies was founded by Geetika and Jashish Kambli in May 2022 to decode unstructured conversations and observations into real-time user research tools.

Creating a user-first world with Humanify Technologies

Monday November 20, 2023,

5 min Read

In 1908, when asked about customer input in the development of the Ford Model T, Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

For any business, understanding data is vital to getting successful results as user preferences and behaviours rapidly evolve. Companies earlier relied on traditional methods—specialised observation techniques, surveys, and focus groups—to decipher human behaviour.

But with new-age technologies, these methods are evolving. Helping them in this endeavour is Mumbai-based Humanify Technologies, which guides businesses to adopt new technology and drive user insights to understand human behaviour and become more sensitive to human needs. 

“At Humanify, we use technology to build a more human-centred world,” Geetika Kambli, Co-founder of Humanify Technologies, tells YourStory.  

Its debut product, Explorastory—a B2B SaaS research platform—decodes unstructured conversations and observations into a real-time user research report available on demand at a fraction of the typical cost and time. 

Real-time user insights

Humanify Technologies was founded by husband-wife duo Geetika and Jashish Kambli in May 2022. 

Exactly a year later, the startup launched ExploraStory to connect companies directly to their customers and watch their experiences live. One can get the right respondent for a study, run user studies for different use cases, and curate advanced analysis to find patterns in given unstructured data on the platform.

“For us, the bigger challenge was how to replicate in-person interactions and real-life experiences essential for our work. Zoom calls and online interactions didn't quite capture the same results that we were used to,” shares Geetika. 

She adds, “As a tech founder, my perspective was that most online research aimed to take offline practices and transition them to the digital realm. However, the real transformation occurs when you recognise the potential of technology and use it in novel ways to create something that couldn't be achieved before.” 

Humanify recently closed an undisclosed pre-Series A round led by Godrej & Boyce—the flagship company of the Godrej Group—to boost its insight generation platform, leveraging current advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep tech.  

The journey

Since 1997, Geetika—having worked at Unilever and Johnson and Johnson after completing her MBA—had a first-hand understanding of what leading agencies were doing. 

“It became clear to me that conventional methods were insufficient for the rapidly evolving landscape. For about 15 years, we engaged in offering guidance to teams with global brands.”  

In 2005, she co-founded the Centre for Behavioral Research at Future Factory, which leverages design research methodologies in behavioural, cognitive, and social sciences. It works for in-situ, product-related user research.

An active supporter of partnerships, Geetika is a partner at IIT Mumbai’s Incubator SINE, an advisor to Welingkar University, a convener at CII’s Industry-Academia Panel and a long-standing member at CII’s Innovation and Technology sub-committee (WR). 

The centre has developed a toolkit of 50 distinct methods by collaborating with global organisations across various sectors to utilise consumer insights to craft strategies and solutions.

Initially, the team was involved in machine learning and developed algorithms. “We wrote our code to push the boundaries of what technology could achieve. At that time, we looked at unstructured conversations and observations. The feedback provided by users in real-time offered us a unique perspective.”

However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unexpected turn of events. Given that the centre’s research was fundamentally user behaviour-focused and reliant on in-person observation, it presented a unique challenge.

She adds, “When the pandemic struck, it became abundantly clear the limitations it imposed on conducting face-to-face research. It was this challenge that acted as the catalyst for the development of our very first product.”

Inspired by this opportunity, Geetika started Humanify as a separate entity.

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AI for a ‘human-centric world’

Humanify’s research reports, generated through Explorastory, closely mimic the human experience. These reports help businesses get directly in touch with their users, watch their experiences live, and generate real-time research results customised to the use case by leveraging AI.

Unlike traditional research that relies on graphs for survey summaries and verbatim for interview summaries, Humanify’s reports include all types of media—providing a reporting experience that closely mirrors real human interactions.

“How we understand customers is changing rapidly with advances in technology. The work we’re doing at Humanify will enable marketing and product teams to make decisions that are user-informed at less than half the usual cost and time, making businesses more agile and responsive,” says Geetika. 

Amid a host of competition from Qualtrics and Medallia, Geetika says Humanify’s focus on the human element and its impact truly sets it apart from the rest. 

Humanify Technologies has a dual customer focus—first, consumer goods brands, including FMCG, appliances, and home and lifestyle companies. Second, service companies like banks and media and entertainment enterprises. 

Its revenue model is rooted in the subscription-based—pay-per-use framework that underpins SaaS products. Users can procure a predetermined set of research hours and use them as needed, with the flexibility to top up as required. 

The low pricing model, starting at Rs 3,200 per hour, makes it possible for teams to adopt the platform quickly. 

At present, it serves 8-10 clients, including Eureka Forbes, Godrej & Boyce, and Go Desi, among others. 

With Eureka Forbes, Humanify is helping it assess its service plans, including which plans to offer, features to include, and how to price them effectively.

“We delivered results in under two weeks, enabling them to take prompt action. The importance of getting first-hand, unfiltered data directly from customers becomes important,” Geetika says.

She adds, “We plan to extend our product offerings using AI to significantly improve the user experience and possibilities of learning from our users in real-time. Also, we plan to enter the US market to expand our global footprint and expect to hit our first million-dollar revenue target next year.”

Edited by Suman Singh