Interview With Vidyuth Srinivasan - CEO & Co-founder of Entrupy

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

SafetyDetectives recently had the privilege of interviewing Vidyuth Srinivasan, the CEO & Co-founder of Entrupy, a pioneering company that has introduced AI-powered authentication technology for luxury handbags and sneakers. In this exclusive conversation, Srinivasan shares the inspiration behind the creation of Entrupy, the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning in authentication processes, and the company’s role in addressing the challenges posed by sophisticated counterfeiters in the luxury goods industry.

Thank you for taking some time for us today. Can you introduce yourself and provide insights into the origins of Entrupy and how the idea for the company and its authentication technology came about?

Great to speak with you! My name is Vidyuth Srinivasan and I am the CEO & co-founder of Entrupy, an AI-powered authenticator for luxury handbags and sneakers. The need for something like Entrupy is something I personally experienced earlier in my life. When I was in my teens and owned a motorcycle, I was sold counterfeit motorcycle batteries by an authorized dealership.

That’s why, in 2016, we launched Entrupy, so that people don’t ever find themselves in a situation like mine where they’ve been scammed out of money for something that could put them in danger. Entrupy’s AI-powered technology is able to recognize the subtle differences in counterfeit products that are imperceptible to the untrained eye. Seeing a high demand in the handbag and sneaker markets, Entrupy launched its technology for use by consignment shop owners, pawn shop proprietors, online resellers, and more. These types of businesses typically source stock from individual consigners rather than verified sellers, placing them at higher risk of counterfeit scams. To ensure the authenticity of an item, those businesses would normally have to employ the help of a verification expert, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Through Entrupy, they can verify an item within minutes, thus providing a high level of trust with their customers.

In what ways has the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning enhanced the accuracy and efficiency of Entrupy’s authentication process over time?

Entrupy has always used artificial intelligence and machine learning to authenticate items. When the item is scanned using our proprietary device and app, a set of microscopic images are collected, then our machine learning algorithms that have been trained with a growing database of millions of similar images, including pieces that date back to the 1920s, to ensure accurate authentication for vintage items as well as new ones. Over the years, we have collected data from both real and fake items, and trained our AI systems to be able to understand the minute differences between them.

As our inventory grows, our technology advances. To date, Entrupy has amassed over 20 million unique images of both authentic and counterfeit items. Based on the results of the initial comparison, the AI will either verify the item’s authenticity or return an “unverified” result. Each scan from an Entrupy device becomes part of the database, further training the algorithms and making our solution smarter and more accurate.

Could you elaborate on how Entrupy’s technology addresses the challenges posed by increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters in the luxury goods industry?

Let me share an example of what is happening in the world of counterfeiting. Imagine you go out and buy an expensive, designer handbag from your local department store. Instead of keeping that bag for yourself, you go back and return a fake, less expensive handbag to the same store for a refund. To turn a profit, you then go resell the legitimate designer handbag at full price.

As uncovered in our 2023 State of the Fake Report, $2.8 trillion worth of counterfeit items are confiscated each year and $991 billion of that total consists of the international trade of counterfeit goods. While people often feel that it’s not worth buying expensive luxury bags because there are such high quality fakes out there, what many people don’t know is that counterfeiting actually has a direct and devastating impact on both workers and the environment. For example, the lost revenue due to counterfeiting led to over 260,000 lost jobs and 36.2% of counterfeit goods tested contain dangerous levels of toxins.

That being said, by providing technology that calls out these counterfeit goods and delivering educational tools such as our annual reports, we aim to solve the challenges luxury brands face when it comes to counterfeiters.

How can businesses leverage Entrupy’s authentication technology to not only enhance security but also improve the overall customer experience in the luxury retail space?

Since inception, Entrupy has been highly focused on delivering a seamless experience to help both businesses and consumers succeed. No one wants to experience spending a lot of money on something like a luxury handbag that they’ve likely had their eye on for quite some time, only to find out it’s not real. Entrupy not only verifies the authenticity of a bag using its fast-learning AI technology, which has a 99.1% accuracy rate, but it also provides a financial guarantee. While it is highly unlikely that an inauthentic item will be misidentified as authentic, we provide a financial guarantee to protect the certificate holder from financial losses due to errant results.

In addition to authentication, Entrupy’s Fingerprinting solutions for product identification make any item traceable, bringing new levels of protection to any point in the supply chain. Easily implemented at the point of sale or shipping, Entrupy Fingerprinting is a customer-friendly and accurate way to ensure the product returned is the same as the product sold.

With the rise of online marketplaces, what role do you see AI playing in building and maintaining trust between buyers and sellers in the ecommerce ecosystem?

With a growing demand for online shopping versus brick-and-mortar, and social media platforms like TikTok officially launching its “Shop” feature earlier this year, there is an obvious need for brands to make sure they are maintaining relationships with customers amidst some of the suspicion on such platforms. In October, we announced our partnership with TikTok Shop as an official authentication provider of pre-owned luxury handbags on the platform.

Through this partnership, we are furthering our mission of protecting businesses, buyers and sellers from inadvertently transacting in counterfeit and fraudulent items. Our technology is able to provide sellers and businesses on TikTok with the best in-class authentication tools that are instrumental in establishing trust, maintaining quality standards, and delivering a seamless positive experience for online shoppers. Our partnership with TikTok Shop is just a glimpse into the future of how AI will play a pivotal role in building and maintaining trust between buyers and sellers in the ecommerce ecosystem.

Looking ahead, what are the key goals and milestones that Entrupy aims to achieve in the next few years, both in terms of business growth and technological advancements?

Looking to the future, we hope to go beyond the retail world. When we first launched, we looked at a bunch of different markets such as art, food, pharmaceuticals, etc and found that handbags were in high demand and sneakers were seemingly next. When we learned that almost anything you can think of can be faked, we realized that we wanted to build a solution that is scalable. As we look at the next few years, we will continue to grow our database of images to continue ensuring authenticity of luxury items and set out to become the standard for authentication technologies across various markets. As for what’s next, you’ll just have to wait and see!

About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.

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