ViSenze, a startup that provides visual search tools for online retailers, raised $20 million in Series C funding co-led by Gobi Ventures and Sonae IM, with participation from other backers, including returning investors Rakuten and WI Harper.
“We are proud to announce our most recent investment in the $20 million series-C round of ViSenze, an artificial intelligence company powering visual commerce,” said Sonae IM.
Founded in 2012, ViSenze has now raised a total of $34.5 million (its last round was a Series B announced in September 2016). The Singapore-based company, whose clients also include Urban Outfitters, Zalora and Uniqlo, bills its software portfolio as a ‘personal shopping concierge’ that allows shoppers to find or discover new products based on visual search, automatic photo tagging and recommendations based on their browsing history. ViSenze’s verticals include fashion, jewellery, furniture and intellectual property, the TechCrunch reported.
ViSenze’s latest funding will be used to develop its software through partnerships with smartphone makers including Samsung, LG and Huawei.
In a statement, Rakuten Ventures partner Adit Swarup said “When we first invested in ViSenze in 2014, retailers had just started seeing the benefits of powering product recommendations with image data. Today, ViSenze not only powers recommendations for the largest brands in the world but has helped pioneer a paradigm shift in e-commerce; helping consumers find products inside their favourite social media videos and images, as well as initiate a search directly from their camera app.”
Other participants in the round include returning investors Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Ventures, Raffles Venture Partners, Enspire Capital and UOB Venture Management, as well as new investors Tembusu ICT Fund, 31Ventures Global Innovation Fund and Jonathan Coon’s Impossible Ventures.
ViSenze is built by web specialists and computer scientists with deep machine learning and computer vision experience. ViSenze has offices in US, UK, India, China and Singapore. The company originally started as a part of NExT, a leading research centre jointly established between National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University of China.
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