Swee Kiat Lim is the Co Founder and CEO of Pebblely, a Singaporean based startup that specializes in AI image generation for products.
Pebblely can help small business owners streamline product photography without the need of big budgets, creative agencies and designers. You are able to instantly create photos in any setting for moodboards, mockups, social media posts and advertisements.
Swee Kiat will be speaking at GITEX on the 18th October, Hall 9, AI Stage at 1:30pm covering the topic of Generative AI media for the real world.
Prior to his conference, we interview Swee Kiat on the development of Pebblely, what future developments might look like and some of the challenges he has faced in the AI startup landscape.
Pebblely is a fantastic tool, particularly for
startups without the budgets larger brands might have for product photography.
How will you continue to innovate and improve?
We are always keeping an eye on new developments
in this space! In particular, video generation has always been a big request
from many users and we are seeing video models starting to become very viable
for commercial use in this space.
We recently launched a prototype on vispunk.com and will be adding video generation
to Pebblely very soon! More generally, we are also starting to engage with more
researchers and the open-source community, in order to stay up-to-date on what
is just over the horizon.
With the success from Pebblely, we also now have the
bandwidth to invest resources in high-potential research directions that will
help to push the frontiers of AI generation.
What have been the biggest challenges launching
Pebblely with so many other AI startups launching over the
past 12 months?
The pace of progress in this space has simply
been overwhelming. When we first launched Pebblely in January 2023, the app
felt like magic to many of our users. That was a big reason why we went viral
across many different social media platforms. But fast forward 6 months later,
with the prevalence of ChatGPT, Midjourney, and other AI applications,
consumers are quickly becoming accustomed to the wonders of AI and jaded at
what had seemed incredible just months ago.
The open-source community has also
played a big role in democratizing access to the latest research. The big
challenge is how to stand out as an AI company, amidst the influx of all these
new applications. But the rapid progress and democratized access is also an
In this constantly shifting space, the playing field is
leveled and small bootstrapped teams (like Pebblely!) can build products just
as amazing as well-established tech companies.
Do you have any advice for startups within the
AI space, or any learnings you would like to share from your experience so far?
The most important thing to remember is that we
are first and foremost a business. This means we earn money by solving other
people's problems. Specifically in the AI space, it is easy to get distracted
by the latest AI research and forget about whether our product actually solves
At Pebblely, we always try to get a prototype in front of users
as soon as possible, to test if it is a viable product, or just a fancy
gimmick. As a bootstrapped company, we also tend to be a little more
short-sighted, simply because we do not have the runway of other well-funded
This means we cut our losses on projects and features that do not
fare well with users, so that we can focus our resources on what people really
What are you looking forward to at GITEX this
I am excited to chat with all of the other
founders who will be attending GITEX this year! It has been a really exciting
year for AI startups and I am looking forward to learning about all the
different applications that have emerged.
Beyond startups, I am also looking
forward to engaging with professionals and government officials in this space.
This wave of AI applications has also catalyzed many related problems and
challenges in society and governance. I have a keen interest in the field of AI
ethics, which has also become more pertinent with the ubiquity of AI
In my capacity as a business owner and an academic, I am
curious about the strategies and policies that are being considered by
governments and think tanks across the world.