The Veezoo Story

It's often said that remarkable success isn't achieved overnight. The inception and journey of Veezoo is a testament to this.

Pragati Basu

August 11, 2023

It’s often said that remarkable success isn’t achieved overnight. The inception and journey of Veezoo is a testament to this. 

Our mission has always been simple yet transformative – empowering people with easy access to business-critical information. And more importantly, making it human. The road leading us to the present moment has been filled with unexpected twists, perseverance, and inspiring victories.

Let’s rewind back to the winter of 2015, when the Monteiro brothers, Marcos and João Pedro (JP), were enjoying a relaxed and much-needed vacation in their hometown, Rio de Janeiro. A Facebook message led to a discussion about a hackathon organized by SIX in Switzerland. Given JP’s coding skills and Marcos’ analytical thinking, they felt well-prepared to join the fray and tackle a crypto-related problem.

As it often happens, life had its own plan. An unexpected solar eclipse on the day of the hackathon delayed JP’s arrival. Taking the reins, Marcos decided to shift the problem focus from crypto to data analytics, aiming to decipher patterns in the tourist spending data provided by SIX. When JP arrived, he found the problem landscape had entirely changed.

The Veezoo Team Hard at Work

Marcos then asked the team which insights they should extract from the data, and JP came up with the idea: “What if we could just ask anything?”. Imagine if we could get any insight from the data by simply asking the right questions. They named it “veezoo”, a nod to the colloquial Brazilian phrase “Que Visu!”, meaning “what a view”.

However, an idea is not enough…

Faced with the new challenge, the team plunged headlong into coding. They aimed to build a program that would comprehensively answer all possible data-related questions, automatically. However, thirty minutes before the deadline, things were still not working properly. The different parts of the code were not communicating – there was nothing they could show yet. 

Amidst a lot of nail-biting and anxiety-inducing stress, they kept coding. Finally, somehow, in the last five minutes, they managed to put everything together and submit their final project, just seconds before their time was up. To their joy, their visual data analytics tool won a prize at the hackathon.

Here’s a quick look at what the very first version of Veezoo looked like:

Veezoo’s First Visuals

The judges unintentionally hit the nail on the head when they mispronounced “veezoo” as “Wieso” (German for “why”), echoing the purpose of their tool.

Post-hackathon, the brothers returned to Brazil, focusing their energies on refining Veezoo’s code. SIX’s upcoming incubator program appeared as a promising opportunity, spurring them to perfect their tool. Impressed by their determination and the potential of their software, the board at SIX agreed to include them in the program.

With the confirmation of their admission into the incubator program, the team realized that they needed an additional founding member – someone with a background in computer science to round off the collective skill set. And that’s when JP thought of Till Haug – who was doing his exchange semester at Princeton University at the time. 

They met up after summer-  in September, back in Zurich-  and discussed the potential of the venture. Till was the perfect match. 

And so the founding team of Veezoo was born.

Picture of the founders at ETH Zurich in 2016

Veezoo officially established its roots in SIX’s internal innovation space on September 17th, 2015. By March 2016, they launched their first Minimum Viable Product (MVP). From then on, Veezoo grew from strength to strength.

In 2018, they achieved the world’s highest accuracy among question-answering systems.

And in 2019 they signed their first license with French Insurance Company AXA.

Today, Veezoo is a leader in the realm of data analysis and visualization, serving thousands of users globally. It metamorphoses intricate data into comprehensible, actionable insights. Yet, one can’t help but wonder – had it not been for the solar eclipse that prompted a pivotal change in their plan, would Veezoo have existed at all?

See yourself how Veezoo can simplify the access to insights from your data.

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