20/2/2019 – ViSenze, a Singapore-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup that focuses on ecommerce and online advertising has secured a US$20 million Series C funding round co-led by Gobi Partners and Sonae IM.
The round, which brought the startup’s total funding to US$34.5 million, was also participated by existing investors Rakuten, WI Harper, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Ventures, Enspire Capital, Raffles Venture Partners, and UOB Venture Management.
Meanwhile, new backers of the startup include Tembusu ICT Fund, 31Ventures Global Innovation Fund, and Jonathan Coon’s Impossible Ventures.
Founded in 2012 by Olivia Tan, ViSenze originally started as part of NExT, a research center jointly established by the National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University of China.
The startup specializes in visual search tools for online shopping, using visual intelligence to analyze image and video content to automatically link the content to products from online retailers.
This technology enables publishers to facilitate a close connection between brands and content in a relevant context.
Retailer companies can use the company’s solutions to convert images to immediate product search opportunities, while media companies can use ViSenze to turn any image or video into a recommendation of visually similar product.
Consumers are provided a more seamless and enjoyable online shopping experience by way of replacing keywords searches with digital imagery. Each day, over 3 million image search queries occur through ViSenze’s technologies.
Since its inception, ViSenze claims that it has seen a steady annual revenue growth rate over 200 percent. The startup has also expanded globally with more than 80 employees in offices located at the United States, United Kingdom, China, South Korea, India, and Singapore.
In addition to its partnerships with smartphone manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Huawei, and more, the company’s platform solutions have linked over 400 million products from over 800 major merchants and retailers on its global affiliate network. Its customers include global retailers such as Rakuten, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, and Zalora.
Today’s financing will be used by ViSenze to provide advanced, vertically-focused visual commerce technology to retailers, brands, and media companies, as well as enhance its platform solutions through its partnerships with major smartphone manufacturers, making visual shopping possible on native camera lenses.
“Visuals have incredible power and influence over buying decisions, theretofore having visual search capabilities within mobile devices delivers a modern smarter way to ensure discovery by customers,” said ViSenze CEO and co-founder Olivia Tan.
“The partners participating in this funding round share our mission to simplify the way people search and discover products that inspire them. We look forward to what’s ahead for ViSenze as we continue to develop our capabilities, our network, and our global reach.”
Gobi Partners managing director Dan Chong said ViSenze’s business has the opportunity to significantly scale up as the e-commerce markets across the world continue to expand and shoppers are becoming more mobile-centric “As ViSenze helps their clients to capture this group of consumers and adapt to their shopping behavior, the opportunity to scale its business significantly presents itself.”