Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

ViSenze Announces US$3.5 Million Series A Funding

Investment led by Rakuten Ventures to accelerate R&D activities and to fuel rapid international expansion.

SINGAPORE, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- ViSenze Pte Ltd ( today announced it has closed a US$3.5 million Series A round of financing led by Rakuten Ventures (the corporate venture capital unit of Rakuten Inc), with participation from new investors Walden International ("WI") and UOB Venture Management ("UOBVM"). The investment comes within 7 months of the company's first announcement of its collaboration with Rakuten Taiwan.

(Logo: )

ViSenze is a spin-off company of the National University of Singapore (NUS) that develops intelligent visual tools. These tools provide intelligent visual recognition, visual search, matching and recommendation functions on the Web and mobile platforms, for eCommerce and contextual advertising applications.

"Since the announcement of our beta service launch in July 2013, we have secured several pilot projects with collaboration partners like SingTel Digital Media and Zalora," said Oliver Tan, CEO and co-founder of ViSenze. "By focusing our strategy to address real world challenges in eCommerce, our technology is now used by global Internet giant Rakuten and fashion social network Clozette. We also won an award at the prestigious Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) 2013 Award under the Emerging Technology category."

"We are very excited to have Rakuten, WI and UOBVM backing us; their international network will help us scale faster. We will invest in accelerating the development of our own in-video visual recognition technology and are currently engaging key players in North America and China, two of our priority markets," adds Oliver Tan.   

The rise of the Visual Web has enabled companies like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr to reach multi-billion dollar valuations. Visual search is set to change the way users search the Web, photo-sharing websites and image-based networks. With images as one of the largest drivers of referral traffic on social media today, (i)Pinterest generates 4x more revenue (per click) than Twitter and 27% more (per click) than Facebook. More innovative visual applications in the (ii)US$1.2 trillion global eCommerce industry are also set to transform the online shopping experience for consumers, making product search more intuitive and less dependent on keywords guessing. According to a (iii)United Kingdom study in 2013, 74% of surveyed consumers said that traditional text-based keyword queries are inefficient in helping them find the right items online, and 40% wished their online shopping experience to be more visual, image-based and intuitive.

ViSenze derives revenues by enabling social networks, affiliate networks and media publishers to monetize the traffic on their visual media assets, and helping e-retailers to achieve significant improvement in conversion rates on their visual merchandise with API based visual tools like reverse image search, visual-based similarity product search and recommendation.   

Mr. Toru Shimada, Senior Executive Officer of Rakuten & CEO of Rakuten Asia said, "We are impressed by ViSenze's ground-breaking technology and the team's capability to take it further in the realm of eCommerce, affiliate marketing, and video advertising. This investment recognizes the transformational potential of ViSenze's technology and our confidence in the company. The Rakuten Group will clearly want to be the first to take advantage of this technology."

Mr. Saemin Ahn, Managing Partner of Rakuten Ventures, added, "We believe the company's cutting-edge visual technology, including in-video recognition capability, will render game-changing applications in contextual advertising and online video commerce."

ViSenze differentiates itself from other visual search companies by focusing and leveraging deeply on the domain knowledge of each vertical to render highly accurate search results. This enables its visual search engine to detect and recognize target objects in complex images and videos automatically while ignoring the similarly complex backgrounds. The search engine is also able to process huge amounts of visual data (including user-generated photos and videos) in real-time, and concurrently perform searches against large visual databases of related products and services. This opens up huge potential for large scale applications of ViSenze's technology in affiliate marketing and in-video native advertising. The company has also designed its core technology to be highly scalable, trainable and adaptable; all of which have enabled ViSenze's visual tools to be adapted quickly from one domain (e.g. fashion) to another (e.g. lifestyle, automobile, home decor and landmarks) without too much difficulty. This contrasts with other domain-specific visual technologies that tend to be limited in scope and cannot scale quickly.

"We are excited to invest in this young and promising company with the potential to transform the online world with its pioneering visual technology, which is already well tested in the fashion eCommerce vertical. We firmly believe that as the Web becomes more visual, ViSenze is well poised to take maximum advantage as an early mover in visual search technology," said Ms. Yong Soo Ping, Executive Director, Walden International Singapore Pte Ltd.

"Robust technologies aside, we always look for the right team. The company has a well balanced combination of founders with diverse talents, proven track record in research and development, entrepreneurship, and international business experience. They demonstrated foresight and boldness to play on the global stage right at the onset," added Mr. Wan Kum Tho, Executive Director (Investments), UOB Venture Management Pte Ltd.

Prior to Series A financing, seed-funding was provided by the four founders. The company is also supported by Spring Singapore (SPRING) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (iDA) via a grant award under the Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS).

The new investment allows the company to increase headcount in research, product and infrastructure development; scale up its cloud platform, and enhance its market development resources to support partners internationally

(i)  Hubspot/Quicksprout-infographic (Jan 2014): 

(ii) eMarketeer (July 2013):


Media enquiries may be directed to:

Oliver Tan (Mr)
ViSenze Pte Ltd
Email: [email protected]

About ViSenze

Founded by web veterans and industry leading multimedia specialists, ViSenze is an award winning spin-off company from NExT, a research centre jointly established between National University of Singapore (NUS) and Tsinghua University of China. ViSenze's mission is to unlock the intelligence captured in any rich visual content using sophisticated visual recognition technology and the company has created a portfolio of innovative multi-platform solutions: ViSearch for intelligent visual Search, ViContext for contextual analysis and recommendation, ViMobile for mobile search and recognition, and ViSight for visual driven business analytics. Through continuous large-scale rapid machine learning and practical R&D based on real-world problems, ViSenze's pioneering technology helps today's digital businesses address challenges in fast-growing visual content across web, mobile and social media platforms.

For more information, please visit   

About Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world's leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer and business-focused services including e-commerce, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, e-book, portal & media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe and North America. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide.

For more information, please visit

About Walden International ("WI")

WI is a leading international venture capital firm that provides investors access to cross-order, IT opportunities with the advantage of an unrivaled Pan Asia network since 1987. The firm's funds total over US$2 billion in committed capital. WI's investments include MindTree Consulting (BSE: MTCL IN), SINA (NASDAQ: SINA), Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (NYSE: SMI and HKSE: 0981.HK), AutoNavi (NASDAQ: AMAP), Inphi (NYSE: INPH), Beceem (acquired by Broadcom), WebEx (acquired by Cisco), Ndoors (acquired by Nexon Corporation) and Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ:AMBA).

For more information, please visit

About UOB Venture Management

UOB Venture Management Private Limited (UOBVM) is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Overseas Bank (UOB) Limited. Established in 1991, UOBVM manages a family of funds, providing financing to unlisted companies through direct equity investment. Private equity investment activities span Southeast Asia and Greater China. UOBVM currently is managing more than S$600 million in committed capital from institutional and individual investors.

United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. Today, it operates in Asia through its branches and representative offices as well as banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

For more information, please visit


More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...