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Rayo: Empowering People with Disabilities with Confidence in Web Accessibility

Tran Khanh Dung, Rayo’s Founder and CEO

Despite efforts to improve web accessibility, many websites still fall short of catering to the needs of people with disabilities. According to the WebAIM Million study conducted in 2021, which analysed the top one million homepages, a staggering 97.4 per cent had detectable accessibility issues, highlighting the ongoing challenges in ensuring inclusivity online.

Impact startup Rayo believes everyone should have equal digital accessibility, regardless of age, gender, race, and conditions. Headquartered in Vietnam and incubated by Antler, the company positions itself as the first AI-powered solution for enhancing global website accessibility.

Rayo’s solutions for seamless web accessibility

Learning a new web layout typically takes around 30 minutes for a visually challenged user, which is a considerable amount of time. Recognising the frustration experienced by users, Rayo was created as a co-pilot to make web browsing enjoyable and effortless for individuals with diverse disabilities.

In contrast to existing solutions that either adopt a one-size-fits-all strategy or focus solely on specific disabilities, Rayo provides advanced personalisation. Its approach involves the creation of in-depth user profiles, customisation of skill enhancements, and prediction of user behaviour, all while ensuring data security and privacy through end-to-end encryption.

Here’s Rayo’s suite of features aimed at enhancing user accessibility and streamlining web browsing experiences:

  • Its keyboard-centric interface, screen reader compatibility, and voice command functionalities enable users to navigate websites effortlessly in seconds.
  • Rayo empowers users to optimise their input with chart and image readers and auto-generative alt-text content.
  • Through Rayo’s integrated AI assistant, users can condense lengthy text into concise bullet points and seamlessly complete straightforward tasks.

“Through a conversation with a college friend who, coincidentally, was a blind software engineer at Apple Singapore, I discovered the web accessibility issues and decided to pursue the problem. Interestingly, it was a few months later that I realised I had ADHD, which further fuelled my desire to make a meaningful impact in the disability community through Rayo,” said Tran Khanh Dung, Rayo’s Founder and CEO.

Also Read: Inclusion matters: How GitHub enhances accessibility for individuals with disabilities

Rayo provided its Alpha version to 10 blind and low-vision testers in Vietnam and Singapore in March 2023, with plans for a launch later this year.

Impactful approach to inclusivity and revenue

Rayo’s solution empowers individuals with disabilities, creating an inclusive digital space that enhances their online experience, promotes independence, and boosts productivity. “Our extensive network of non-profit organisations, educational partners, and businesses amplifies their benefits by providing better access to education and job opportunities. Moreover, our solution extends its advantages to organisations like schools and businesses committed to enhancing their accessibility and diversity initiatives,” Dung adds.

The company operates on a freemium B2C model, offering users with visual impairments and neurodivergence access to basic features at no cost. Their premium version, available for as low as US$3.99 per month, grants access to advanced features and customisation options.

Dung stated, “Key elements fostering financial sustainability include global affordability in underserved markets, rising employment for people with disabilities, thus improving their living standards, and strategic stakeholder engagement – particularly with non-profits and advocates – to expand the user base with minimal expenses and unlock revenue streams. Our focus spans beyond profit; it’s about driving positive societal impact and advancing tech innovation for humanity, particularly the underrepresented disability community.”

Growth trajectory and vision for the future

In 2023, the firm secured the initial investment from Antler and won startup competition prizes totalling US$127,000. It is currently raising US$820,000 in pre-seed funding to support product development, key hires, and its go-to-market strategy.

Also Read: How Alternō’s vision is changing the energy landscape with sand batteries

Dung added, “Our goal is to become the leading Accessibility Tech provider in Asia. To achieve this, we see a significant opportunity to introduce our solution to China, one of the largest consumer markets globally, with approximately 85 million people with disabilities – equivalent to the combined populations of the world’s top 10 most populous countries!

Furthermore, we are dedicated to advancing our product, fostering education and advocacy through partnerships and social channels, attaining financial sustainability while maintaining affordability for our end users, and making a tangible impact on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”

As the tech sector increasingly prioritises sustainability and social impact, Rayo’s mission of enhancing website accessibility closely corresponds with these evolving trends. This alignment has positioned the company to attract potential partnerships and funding from organisations and investors committed to social responsibility. With advancements in AI driving innovation, Rayo is well-positioned to make a significant difference in fostering inclusivity and positive societal change through accessible technology solutions.

You can join the waitlist for Rayo’s beta version by signing up here.

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Image credit: Rayo

The post Rayo: Transforming web accessibility worries into confidence for people with disabilities appeared first on e27.

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