AI-based startup Banihal helps find a perfect match with neuroscience-based recommendation engine

Neuroscience research and advanced search technology is the core of its matchmaking service.

It didn’t really take too long for the matrimony market to shift online. Today, there are many online matrimony sites, and one such is Banihal (web, Android and iOS). But what sets it apart from the competition is the underlying deep technology – neuroscience-based recommendation engine. Neuroscience research and advanced search technology is the core of its matchmaking service.

Ishdeep Sawhney, CEO, tells us, “It was while I was trying to find my perfect partner that I felt the need to conceive the idea for a service like Banihal. This was when I realised the need for a platform that allows you to assess yourself and your needs in an objective way and helps you decide who the right person for you really is. Imbued by this realisation, I developed the algorithm that enables young, independent and self-willed Indians to make the most important decision of their lives.”

With an MS in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University, Sawhney also has a programme in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Founded in 2014, Banihal is based out of Cupertino, CA.

The service is aimed at working professionals in the age group of roughly 25-30 years looking for a match with a specific mindset. “Users need to fill up a comprehensive profile based on which Banihal makes the best-possible recommendations to them. The service also encompasses a secure communication medium wherein users don't have to share their email or phone number. In order to offer maximum value to its users, Banihal suggests five best matches for each profile,” he further explains.

It’s an elite matchmaking service that uses a precise algorithm to ensure matrimonial success with its software called Rae. The advanced software feeds research tests to the app and website in order to improve the matchmaking process, he points out. Rae is capable of unearthing the subconscious signals. It has been upgraded with artificial intelligence and data to offer a superior user experience. Banihal’s advanced artificial intelligence software Rae will keep on updating a user’s preferences as they make choices while operating the account and the more the user interacts, the more the algorithm based software Rae updates these traits to present the most suitable matches.

Users in the age group between 25 to 30 will have to have sign in and Banihal will ask them specific questions. These are related to the choices you make, your preferences and so on. Banihal then asks you to take the behaviour tests developed on the basis of psychology. These tests aim at knowing your personality and attitude towards life and people.

The answers are then analysed and tests are evaluated. It then claims to put forth your unrealised preferences and hidden traits. Based on these final results, Banihal will connect you to the best possible match to suit your personality and temperament.

The in-built artificial intelligence software Rae will keep updating your preferences as you make choices while operating your account. “For instance, in your profile you mention caste no bar but while searching you look for a specific caste, Rae observes your preference made by you and comes up with the matches accordingly,” he adds. It will suggest five best matches. Initially the service is free.

“It’s primarily an aspirational brand that seeks to offer fulfilment to the top 10 percent of the population in metros, specifically aiming at people who are well-educated and are successful in their careers. These individuals are not on dating sites or matrimonial sites but are looking for something like Google to answer the question of how they can build a fulfilling family life,” he said.

This bootstrapped startup has received seed funding from Dr. David Cheriton, the billionaire Computer Science Prof. from Stanford University who wrote the first check for Google as well. The startup has its core users in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. It also put forth a Ki & Ka marketing campaign to expand its reach.

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