Welcome!

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 (www.visenze.com) 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: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140219/HK66804LOGO )

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): http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/pinterest-revenue-infographic 

(ii) eMarketeer (July 2013): http://www.internetretailer.com/2013/06/27/12-trillion-global-payday-e-commerce

(iii) http://internetretailing.net/2013/09/new-generation-of-visual-shoppers-reveals-that-text-based-search-is-no-longer-enough/

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 www.visenze.com   

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 http://global.rakuten.com

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 www.waldenintl.com

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 www.uobvm.com.sg

SOURCE ViSenze

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
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss 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). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...