SINGAPORE, Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ViSenze, the Artificial Intelligence company that develops breakthrough visual technology for e-commerce and digital businesses, announced today that it has successfully completed a US$10.5 million Series B round. The financing will be used to invest further in the company's proprietary image recognition technology, expand headcount and grow its international offices.
The funding was led by Rakuten Ventures, the venture capital arm of Internet giant Rakuten and 2 co-lead investors: WI Harper Group - a leader in cross-border investment between United States and China, and Enspire Capital - a venture capital firm that focuses on early stage technology startups in United States and Asia.
Other participating investors include SPH Media Fund, the investment arm of media company - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), FengHe Fund Management - an Asian alternative asset management firm founded by Alibaba ex-CTO John Wu, Raffles Venture Partners, Phillip Private Equity, and UOB Venture Management.
"ViSenze has achieved impressive market traction with their ground-breaking AI technology in the e-commerce space. With their innovation DNA, they are developing new solutions, bringing simplified shopping experiences on digital content platforms. Their new solutions for video commerce have huge potential too. We are very excited to continue investing in ViSenze and lead their series B round," said Mr. Saemin Ahn, Managing Partner of Rakuten Ventures.
The solid vote of confidence from investors reflects the significant revenue growth of over 300% year on year that the company has achieved in the last 12 months. ViSenze's global clients include well-known players like ASOS (leading global fashion marketplace), Myntra (India's leader fashion e-commerce), Rakuten Ichiba (Japan's leading marketplace), Interpark Corporation (a South Korea leading online auction and online shopping mall), Lazada Group (SouthEast Asia's leading marketplace), Zalora (SouthEast Asia's fastest growing fashion e-commerce), Essilor (global leader in eyewear) and many more.
Across all deployed sites, ViSenze's API based solutions are exposed to over 250 million monthly active users today, helping them simplify their shopping experiences in a booming retail ecommerce world worth $1.671 trillion worldwide.
ViSenze's solutions for ecommerce - such as visually similar product recommendations, out-of-stock alternatives, search by image, and automated product tagging - create an uplift in conversion rates. These solutions are built on cutting-edge AI technology combining deep learning and computer vision, and delivered over distributed architecture which is optimised for scale and performance.
"Online search is a fundamental part of our daily lives, yet the majority of visual shoppers are saying keyword search is inadequate in today's visual web world. So we want to solve this problem by simplifying the way online users look for information or shop for products online," said Mr. Oliver Tan, Co-Founder and CEO of ViSenze.
"In online shopping, we train our visual shopping AI to look deeply for visual attributes in products and match them to available products that shoppers are searching for. We have generated up to 70% uplift in conversion rates for our retail clients through continuous search quality improvements and innovations developed by our R&D team," Oliver added.
The company is now preparing to introduce discovery-driven shopping solutions to visual content sites. These solutions specifically address the issue of broken links between visual content sites that inspire shopping interest, and the type of products being sought.
"As the world of commerce and content becomes intertwined inextricably, ViSenze's ability to directly connect content discovery to commerce opportunities is very promising. We see opportunities to leverage their technology to drive new experiences that delight our customers," said Mr. Chua Boon Ping, CEO of SPH Media Fund.
ViSenze is currently running pilot projects with content owners and online retailers.
Besides expanding the R&D team of machine learning and computer vision scientists, the new funding will enable the company to grow its offices in the United States and India, as well as to open up new offices in the United Kingdom and China.
ViSenze is an Artificial Intelligence company that develops advanced visual search and image recognition solutions to help businesses in e-commerce, retail and content publishing. Built on technology combining machine learning and computer vision, ViSenze recommends visually similar items to online shoppers in milliseconds, either on e-commerce platforms when they browse or search by uploading a picture, or on content publishers platforms like social media and video networks.
Built for scale and performance, ViSenze's solutions are used by some of the largest e-commerce companies like Rakuten, ASOS, Myntra and Lazada to increase their engagement and conversion rates. Brands use ViSenze to turn images into engagement, and publishers use ViSenze to generate monetization opportunities from their visual media assets.
ViSenze has offices in San Francisco, New Delhi and Singapore. The company is a spin-off from NExT, a leading research centre jointly established between National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University of China. ViSenze is recognised for its innovation and was voted Most Promising Startup at Emerging Enterprise Award 2015. The company is also a MasterCard StartPath supported startup.
Marketing Director at ViSenze