Basic Info

Apu Gupta
Contributor Status:
Native AdVice
Initial Contribution Date:
Primary Location:
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Marketing / Advertising, Technology
Personal Career Headline:
CEO/Co-Founder of Curalate
Business Description (One-Liner):

Visual commerce platform, connecting pictures, people and products

Experience Timeline:
16-20 years of work experience

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Career Snapshot:

Mr. Apu Gupta Co-founded Curalate, Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gupta has a background in both startups and established ventures encompasses strategic management, marketing, sales, and operations. He worked in the technology, financial services, and industrial chemicals industries, and also has exposure to the pharmaceuticals and aviation sectors.

He served as the Chief Marketing Officer for MedPlus Health Services Pvt. Ltd. and also served as its Chief Operating Officer, North India since March 2007. Mr. Gupta was responsible for leading MedPlus expansion into Northern India and also heading marketing efforts nationwide for MedPlus Health. Prior to joining MedPlus, Mr. Gupta spent seven years in a variety of strategy, sales, and marketing roles in the United States, where he focused on launching and building new products, services, and organizations in the financial services and technology sectors. Mr. Gupta also served at Arthur Andersen, American Express and WebEx Communications. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. (Read More Here)

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How did you get into the industry?:

I grew up in the Silicon Valley at a time when the personal computer was changing the world. My father was in the semiconductor industry while mother was in software and from a very young age I was around a lot of tech. I was drawn to software. For me, it was a creative outlet limited only by imagination and skill. For me being in tech was about being in an industry where nearly anything was possible. And that’s amazing.

Emerging industry trends?:

Brand awareness and preference is increasingly being formed on channels that brands don’t control – namely social. Additionally, on rapidly growing channels such as Pinterest and Instagram, earned media trumps owned. Together, this means that brands now operate in a world in which the conversations are being initiated by someone other than themselves on channels they no longer control. Curalate enables brands to capitalize on this by giving them the marketing tools needed to influence the customer’s journey in ways that make brands more relevant to the consumers of tomorrow.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?:

In late 2011, my cofounder, Nick Shiftan, and I started noticing how popular visual-first social networks (e.g. Pinterest, Instagram) were becoming. We felt that this was about a fundamental shift in the way people were consuming information and communicating about what mattered most to them. Increasingly, people were talking in pictures rather than words – a trend that has continued to only grow stronger in the years since. We realized that in an environment with few words, most of the technologies that were built for understanding social communications would break. So we set out to build software that could “read” images instead.

In a world in which visual communications propagate unfettered, and the information contained within becomes increasingly valuable, our vision is to make brands smarter marketers through imagery.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

Decoding the world’s images.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business? Greatest Accomplishment?:

Our most valuable partnerships are with the brands who put their trust in us. As a young company, we care deeply about the brands we work with as well as the brand we’re building.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?):

Before we were Curalate, we were Storably – AirBnB for parking and storage. We raised capital for this idea, built a product, and failed miserably. Our investors told us they believed in us and told us to push on, but told us we needed to figure things out in 30 days. Over those 30 days, our team came up with 70 ideas, built seven, and ultimately realized that Curalate was the best use of our team’s talents and passions. It was an incredible period in the company’s history and we’ve never forgotten about where we came from.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Josh Kopelman from First Round Capital, one of Curalate’s investors, said to us once, “Most entrepreneurs see a body on the table and say it’s in a coma. At least you guys knew it was a corpse.” My advice: know when to call it a corpse.

What Else To Know

Tell Us More:

Most interesting headline read this week:

“When it Comes to Market Leadership, Be the Gorilla.”  – First Round Review

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