Working in partnership with the world renowned NGO, BRAC, Maya Apa, is re-inventing the way people in developing countries access specialist advice. In countries like Bangladesh, where there are many barriers to accessing reliable advice (particularly for women), Maya Apa provides an easy-to-use service where users ask questions anonymously.
Users simply ask the question and the Maya Apa technology is able to detect the nature of the query and route it to a vetted network of experts (doctors, therapists etc.) in real-time, matching queries to relevant experts. Within just approximately 3 years since the service was officially introduced to the market, Maya has been able to create significant effects and provide expert advice on physical health, mental health, and lifestyle issues that people face in their daily lives.
To be able to cater to the needs of the people, the Maya team has developed some of the most advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) technology in Bangladesh. Maya’s NLP library consists of over 500,000 user queries and millions of characters across Bangla, English and “Banglish” characters. The service is available to users across Desktop Web, Mobile Web, Android App, Free Basics and Messenger by Facebook and SMS. This very service is now, set to be a part of prestigious program from Google.
“We are thrilled to be selected to join the 5th class of Google Launchpad Accelerator! Maya Apa is used by thousands of people, mostly women, every day as we continue to invest in advanced technologies like NLP, machine learning and AI to improve and scale up our service. We will no doubt benefit incredibly by learning from Google experts and other founders involved in the program,” states Ivy, the founder and CEO of Maya Apa.
She further added, “I am delighted for my team, who have been working so hard every day on building Maya Apa and supporting our users. We are proud to be representing Bangladesh and hope our participation in Launchpad will encourage more local startups to apply and take part in the future. We have been fortunate to get a lot of fantastic support throughout our journey to date from individuals and organisations locally, especially from BRAC and ICT Division.” Through this program, Maya will be receiving equity-free support, two weeks of all-expenses- paid training at Google HQ in Silicon Valley, personalized mentorship from Google and Silicon Valley experts, global media and marketing spotlight opportunities, continual support for six months after program completion.
Maya Apa has been creating a huge impact in the Bangladeshi community over the past couple of years. With over 100,000 followers on Facebook and 100,000 plus downloads on the Google Play Store, Maya Apa is quickly reaching out to users across the country. Working with other NGOs, corporations and businesses, Maya Apa is aiming to expand its helping hand towards the growing population of digital Bangladesh in 2018.
It is indeed remarkable for Maya Apa to be the first Bangladeshi startup to be a part of Google Launchpad Accelerator in the upcoming year, where a diverse group of startups from across the globe will also be present. The two week training will be held at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco in January 2018.
To use the Maya Apa service: download Maya Apa from Google Play store from your Android phone, or visit www.maya.com.bd.