ViSenze, an image recognition startup that delivers visual search tools designed for online retailers such as ASOS and Rakuten, recently revealed that it had secured $20 million in a Series C funding round.
Both Sonae IM and Gobi Ventures co-led the financing round, which also included the participation of other investors, including returning backers WI Harper and Rakuten.
Established back in 2012, ViSenze has so far raised a total of 34.5 million dollars (its previous funding round was a Series B held in September 2016).
ViSenze customers include the likes of Uniqlo, Zalora, and Urban Outfitters, who bill the Singapore-based company’s software portfolio as a “personal shopping concierge” that helps shoppers in finding or discovering products based on automatic photo tagging, visual search, and suggestions based on their browser history.
The company’s verticals include intellectual property, furniture, jewelry, and fashion.
The latest funding raised by ViSenze is expected to be utilized in developing its software by forming partnerships with various smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, LG, and Samsung.
Currently, the startup has its offices in various places across the globe including the United States, Europe (the United Kingdom), and Asia (Singapore, India, and China)
What’s more, ViSenze yearly revenue growth rate is over 200%.
Some of the other startups that ViSenze shares this space with include Imagga, Clarifai, Slyce, and Syte.ai just to mention a few.
Adit Swarup, a partner at Rakuten Ventures, stated that “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 favorite social media videos and images, as well as initiate a search directly from their camera app.”
Other participating investors in the financing round included returning investors such as UOB Venture Management, Enspire Capital, Raffles Venture Partners, and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Ventures, while the new backers included Jonathan Coon’s Impossible Ventures, 31Ventures Global Innovation Fund, and Tembusu ICT Fund.
Aside from retailers, media companies leverage ViSenze in converting a video or image into an engagement opportunity, driving additional incremental and new dollars.
Initially, the company began as a section of NExT, which is a foremost search center that was established through the joint effort of Tsinghua University of China and the National University of Singapore.
Since the company’s inception, it has won awards and received numerous recognitions including ASEAN ICT Awards TELMIN, Interbrand Breakthrough Brands, and CogX AI Innovation Awards 2017 for the Best AI Product in Retail among others.
Apart from that, ViSenze enjoys media recognitions from CNBC, YourStory, The Business Times, Interbrand, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Recode, Business Insider, Bloomberg Business, TNW, Fortune, Fast Company, Tech in Asia, and The Straits Times.
Furthermore, ViSenze is backed by several partners such as the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Mastercard Start Path, which marks the company’s worldwide initiative to back later stage companies.