In 2011, Loop54’s founders; Mike Odin, a Mathematicial Statistican, and Software Engineer, Joel Kall attempted to apply some of Netflix's award-winning recommendation algorithms to a similar Swedish video streaming service.
They quickly realised that Netflix's Collaborative Filtering algorithm, which requires many users with a lot of interactions that intersect each other, would be out of reach for a Swedish business with much less traffic and a data sparsity problem.
Although it did not work out as intended, the project had ignited an idea: to bring the concept of ‘content discovery’, which the video on-demand industry had been raving about for years, to e-commerce, and to do it without big data. After nearly two years in R&D, the team had successfully built a product discovery algorithm for e-commerce, but instead of a recommender system, they applied the concept to search.
One of their greatest strengths as a team was their completely different backgrounds - Mike from Mathematical Statistics and Joel from Computer Engineering. While the competition approached the problem of on-site search as engineers, by focusing on efficient database indexing and query alteration, Mike and Joel took a more mathematical approach. They modeled relations between products using different techniques ranging from Graph Theory to complex Neural Networks.
In 2012, the duo recruited Robin Mellstrand as CEO and were ready to officially found Loop54. To scale the team and...