MOSCOW, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Mail.Ru Group, one of the largest Internet companies in the fast-growing Russian-speaking markets, invests in Israeli-based Cortica Ltd. Cortica is the pioneer of a new approach to computer-driven understanding of images and videos through its unique and proprietary Image2Text™ technology.
Mail.Ru Group is investing $1.5 million in Cortica in order to support and access its Image2Text™ technology. This investment is a part of the larger round lead by other high profile investors.
Image2Text™ technology automatically extracts core concepts from images and video and maps these concepts to keywords and textual taxonomies. Once a core concept is identified, Cortica enables host environments to offer relevant content, search and advertising. For instance, when exposed to a picture of the Eiffel Tower, Image2Text will recognize it and automatically offer background information on the tower, ads for cheap tickets to Paris and even a video featuring panoramic views of the city. Going beyond the real-time analysis, Image2Text can also assist in building user profiles by using information about how users interact with pictures and videos to offer them richer, more relevant content.
"Cortica's breakthrough technology provides a degree of recognition and understanding accuracy that is comparable with that of the human brain," says Mor Yegerman, Head of International M&A at Mail.ru Group. "And we are happy to support Cortica in this exciting development."
"We are really excited to work with Mail.Ru Group," says Igal Raichelgauz, Co-Founder and CEO of Cortica. "Mail.ru shares our vision for leveraging Image2Text technology for visual search and contextual advertising and taking users' web surfing experience to a whole new level. Mail.ru has the depth and breadth of market penetration to expose much larger audiences to Cortica's technology."
Mail.Ru Group (LSE:MAIL, listed since November 5, 2010) is a leading Internet company in the high-growth Russian-speaking Internet markets. Mail.Ru Group's sites reach approximately 86% of Russian-speaking Internet users on a monthly basis, and the Company is one of the five largest Internet sites, based on the number of total pages viewed (comScore, March 2013).
The Company operates two of the three largest Russian language online social networking sites (Odnoklassniki and My World), two largest Instant Messaging networks in Russia (Mail.Ru Agent and ICQ), Russia's leading e-mail service and largest Internet portal Mail.ru, as well as Russia's largest online games platform.
Cortica was founded in 2007 with a vision to fundamentally revolutionize computers' approach to understanding images and video. Cortica's technology simulates the human cortex in order to understand and recognize images with the highest degree of accuracy. The company was founded by Igal Raichelgauz, Karina Odinaev and Yehoshua (Josh) Y. Zeevi, some of the best minds in neuroscience and big data. The core technology is protected by over 50 patents. Cortica's headquarters are based in New York City and its R&D center is in Israel. Cortica is funded by Horizons Ventures (the investment arm of Mr. Li Ka Shing) and high profile individuals, including Ynon Kreiz who serves as Cortica's chairman.
SOURCE Mail.Ru Group