Amit Singhal, who recently retired as Head of Search at Google, and is primarily known as the man behind Google’s ‘ranking algorithm’ has now joined the board of directors at Goqii ,ex-Indiagames CEO Vishal Gondal’s wearable fitness device making startup.
After working for over 15 years at Google, Amit recently retired from his role to pursuit his own interests. He was leading Google’s core search quality department. In 2001, he rewrote the search engine and as a reward for his work, Amit Singhal was named a “Google Fellow”.
He and his team were responsible for the Google search algorithms. He is regarded as the master of what Google calls its “ranking algorithm” — the formulas that decide which web pages best answer each user’s question.
He got BS degree in Computer Science from University of Roorkee (now known as IIT Roorkee) in India, a MS in Computer Science again from University of Minnesota and a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. After completing PhD, he joined AT&T Labs in 1996 and joined Google in 2000.
In 2014, Amit had also invested in Goqii as an angel investor. As a member of the board, he hopes to bring his expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning from Google to GOQii, making the service more predictive and preventive. He said:
The idea that is most intriguing about GOQii is having a human being working with artificial intelligence to motivate the user.
It is not just some bit of learning… but there will be a lot of artificial intelligence going in the background. The interface to these things has not evolved to a point where a human being is fully comfortable with it, especially in an area like health and wellness… so a lot of science has to be worked upon. The world needs good health and it needs to be motivated about it.
Goqii was founded in 2014 by Vishal Gondal. It integrates the ‘human factor’ in form of a personal coach. A GOQii personal coach works with the user’s data to provide customized advice on a regular basis, and keeps the user motivated and on track to success by goal reinforcement.
In November 2015, the company had raised $13.5 million in its Series A round of funding from New Enterprise Associates, Cheetah Mobiles and GWC. A couple of months ago, Goqii received its first major investment from a corporate house when Edelweiss invested in the company at a speculated valuation of between $44 million to $55 million.
It is being predicted that the wearable device shipments will reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up about 164 percent from 2014. By 2019, worldwide wearable shipments is expected to reach 173.4 million units.