Monday, September 27, 2010

Facial Recognition Tech Startup Raises $4.3M From Yandex And Others

Just stop for a second and think of the endless possibilities such software will bring to the dating industry. With face recognition we will no longer have scammers and spammer plaguing the dating sites and lurking in the shadows seeking their next pray.

Yandex, operator of Russia’s largest search engine, has invested in Tel-Aviv based facial recognition technology startup, marking its first investment in an Israeli company. In total, has raised $4.3 million in Series B funding in a round led by previous investor Rhodium.

The news was first reported by TheMarker (in Hebrew) but we’ve confirmed the news with a Yandex representative, who declined to say how much it is investing in the startup.

Yandex did say they and are working on a “large joint project”, but failed to specify what that initiative entails exactly. Finally, Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh has joined the startup’s board of directors., founded in 2007, has developed a number of face recognition apps for Facebook (PhotoTagger and Photo Finder; the latter is currently in private alpha mode).

Last May, the company said its technology had helped users scan over 7 billion photos, and moved to launch a developer community and open API, providing third-party devs access to their core facial recognition technology.

One of the startup’s closest competitors, Polar Rose, was reportedly acquired by Apple for about $29 million.

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