Oswald Labs was founded with the vision to break barriers to modern technology. From building a small Chrome extension in a 30-hour hackathon that allows people with dyslexia to read websites easily, they are now a profitable startups with three products- Agastya, Shravan, and Valmiki.
Agastya is a web accessibility plug-in that can be added to any website to make it disabled-friendly, and includes special features like a dyslexia-friendly mode, text reading aloud for the visually impaired, and color contrast customization options. Shravan is the first smartphone for the differently abled, and includes a patent-pending vibrational and speech interface for the blind. It also has Digital India features like built-in Aadhaar and UPI, and works in 25+ native Indian languages. Valmiki is a dyslexia and visually impaired-friendly web browser addon.
Anand Chowdhary, Nishant Gadihoke, and Mahendra Singh Raghuwanshi founded Oswald Foundation.
“I had the idea of building a browser extension for people with dyslexia which Nishant and I built at a weekend hackathon, but I soon realized that was a very small part of the bigger problem — that technology is not universally accessible. We then started Oswald Foundation on India’s Independence Day in 2016 and renamed to Oswald Labs in late-2017 to focus on research and development in accessibility technology” said Anand.
“We care about things like the environment, education, and equality. Part of our technology infrastructure runs on wind-powered energy; we do extensive research in making online study material more accessible for students with learning disabilities, and we build the web’s first end-to-end accessibility platform. We’re not just a company — we’re an idea. An idea that technology doesn’t have to be inaccessible and exclusive. We’re building technology for the next billion users” added Anand.
They won Startup India Rocks! 2016 out of a pool of over 1,000 startups all over India. They were also in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list and in the Dutch Financial Times’ list of 50 most innovative entrepreneurs and professionals in the Netherlands.