Singapore-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup, ViSenze, clinched a US$20 million Series C funding, co-led by Gobi Partners and Sonae IM. This latest round of funding increases ViSenze’s total funding amount to US$34.5 million. The previous round of funding was US$10.5 million in Series B in 2016 backed by eight investors.
ViSenze plans to further invest in its penetration among smartphone manufacturers, as well as with consumer and social communication applications. It already has partnerships with phone makers such as Samsung, LG, and Huawei.
Gobi Partners is a venture capital firm that focuses on innovative technologies in China, Hong Kong, and South-east Asia, while Sonae IM is a European-based corporate venture investor specializing in retail and telco tech as well as cybersecurity.
AI in retail is picking up growth rapidly, driven by advancement in technology in automated merchandising, recommendation engines, and customer behavior tracking. The startup uses proprietary image recognition technology to detect trends and visual similarities (such as colors and patterns) in products to help consumers find products online more seamlessly. This technology disrupts the industry by making online products more searchable and helps in improving the customer experience. This technology is also used by leading retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Zalora, Uniqlo, Rakuten, and “major” Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) among its network of clients, linking more than 400 million products from over 800 merchants and retailers on its global affiliate network.
The spent in AI-driven commerce services is expected to top US$8 billion by the year 2024, according to the reports by Global Market Insights reports. McKinsey Global Institute also reported that services would impact between 3.2 percent to 5.7 percent of global retail revenue.
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“Visuals have incredible power and influence over buying decisions, therefore having visual search capabilities within mobile devices delivers a modern, smarter way to ensure discovery by consumers,”
Oliver Tan, CEO and Co-Founder of ViSenze