Asura Technologies is a Hungarian startup specializing in video analytics, and has quickly been gaining a foothold on international markets. The Budapest Business Journal talks with CEO Máté Kiss-György about the project.
BBJ: How did the core idea of Asura Technologies come about?
Máté Kiss-György: We wanted to deliver a solution with a tangible benefit to the smart city market. In early 2016, we successfully programmed a vehicle recognition system, easily embedded in parking, traffic, and security systems. A year later, our first product, ARU was launched, and was immediately recognized by market professionals, earning us a special mention at the 2018 Intertraffic Innovation Awards.
BBJ: What does Asura have to offer that puts it beyond your competitors?
MK-Gy: Competition is fierce; Asura Technologies is not the only company with smart and ambitious people on board. Simply selling our products just doesn’t cut it; we continuously follow-up with customers, ensuring they got exactly what they paid for and immediately make any changes and improvements, should something go wrong. We have a camera agnostic vehicle recognition software combining license plate, brand, model, category and color recognition and various parking and traffic functionalities. Our systems use minimal resources to stay price competitive: no external sensors for triggering, working with a sole IP camera and our software. “Access Shield”, to be launched this month, is a good example of innovation, combining vehicle and face recognition of the driver for high-security access control.
BBJ: Who are the members of your team?
MK-Gy: There are 24 of us, including the U.S. branch, and the team is continuously growing. We plan to expand to 35 people in 2020. The team is a great bunch of smart ladies and gents led by an extremely dedicated management team, whom we often refer to as our “Band of Brothers”. We are not daydreamers sitting in cafés; you start the day early with a call with your Far Eastern partner and often finish at night, talking to a U.S. partner while bathing your kid.
BBJ: What successes has Asura achieved so far?
MK-Gy: We are active all over the world, currently busy in the United States, at more than 100 parking sites in Denver, Dallas, and Chicago. In the Far East, we will be negotiating the implementation of our parking space occupancy detection software into parking systems supplied by ZTE-ITS and our partner EPS Ltd. in their Chinese sites. There are negotiations in Indonesia to include our video analytics solutions into Telkom Indonesia’s Smart City platform. Asura is also activating in the Middle East, working with local partners on Bahraini and Kuwaiti projects. In Hungary, we are trying to show political and business decision-makers that things can go differently than how they used to. We are happy to have signed an R&D cooperation agreement with ZalaZone and we are becoming members of the Hungarian Defense Industry Association.
BBJ: Is there a venture capital involved in the company?
MK-Gy: GB & Partners recently invested HUF 700 million into Asura Technologies, financed by Exim Exportösztönző Magántőkealap. GB & Partners has proved to be the ideal partner; their attitude centered around supporting and helping Asura instead of demanding overdue reports and pushing for early profits. Ágoston Gubicza, with his team at GB, is a real gamechanger, they brought a very different and much needed positive attitude to the Hungarian fund management scene. We are happy to have joined forces with them.
BBJ: What are your plans for the future?
MK-Gy: We focus on dynamic growth, planning to further expand our presence in the United States, while pressing for more projects around the globe. Deep down, we also hope to play a part in transforming our cities into a smarter, smoother version of themselves. Still, amidst all the growth plans, we will not change working with the right people, doing business the right way, and, who knows, we may even become a role model for Hungarian startups.