ViSenze Raises $20 Million Series C to Further Advance the Adoption and Impact of Visual Commerce for Retailers and Smartphone Manufacturers

Co-led by Gobi Partners and Sonae IM, this latest funding round
enables the artificial intelligence company to further invest in its
penetration among smartphone manufacturers, as well as with consumer and
social communication applications

SINGAPORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#AIlt;/agt;–ViSenze,
the artificial intelligence company powering visual commerce, today
announced it has raised $20 million in Series C funding. Gobi
, a venture capital firm focusing on innovative technologies
in China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, and Sonae
, a European-based corporate venture investor specializing in
retail and telco tech as well as cybersecurity, co-led the round with
participation from a number of new investors as well as existing
investors Rakuten and WI Harper. Founded in 2012, ViSenze is
experiencing significant global expansion with over 80 employees,
offices in Singapore, China, the United Kingdom, the United States,
South Korea, and Japan, as well as global customers including leading
retailers Rakuten, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Zalora, and more. 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. 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.

“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,” said
Oliver Tan, CEO and Co-Founder, ViSenze. “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.”

Today’s investment follows a period of rapid growth for ViSenze, with
the company seeing a steady annual revenue growth rate of over 200
percent as well as its employee headcount tripling over the last three
years. This growth can be attributed to ViSenze’s work with leading
retailers, brands, and media companies across North America, the United
Kingdom, EMEA, South America, and APAC. Through ViSenze’s scalable and
reliable visual search capabilities, consumers are provided a more
seamless, enjoyable online shopping experience by way of replacing
keyword searches with digital imagery. Today, over 300 million shoppers
use ViSenze and over three million image search queries a day occur
through ViSenze’s enterprise solutions; Search by Image, Shoppable UGC,
View Similar Recommendations, and Shopping Assistant. ViSenze’s
proprietary image recognition technology makes online products more
searchable through product features like style and occasion, visual
attributes like colors and patterns, and is also used by major brands
for visual trend analytics, social insights, price discovery, and
competitive strategizing.

“The ecommerce 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,”
said Dan Chong, Managing Director, Gobi Partners. “ViSenze has emerged
as a leading innovator in the visual search and image recognition space,
and we are confident that ViSenze will continue creating disruptive
innovation to dominate this rapidly growing market.”

“With more retailers and brands offering visual search capabilities as
an option for consumers to accelerate the time to purchase and improve
the buying experience, we see the technology continuing to shape the
future of retail. Hence, after having thoroughly analyzed this space, we
were able to invest in the leading player, which will enable us to take
part in this modern shopping era that is heavily driven by visual
inspiration,” said Eduardo Piedade, CEO, Sonae IM. “We are thrilled to
be on this journey with ViSenze as the company embarks on the next phase
of growth and development and look forward to contributing to its

Other participants in the funding round include new investors Tembusu
ICT Fund
, 31Ventures
Global Innovation Fund
, and Jonathan Coon’s Impossible
, as well as existing investors Rakuten
, WI
Harper Group
, Singapore
Press Holdings (SPH) Ventures
, Raffles Venture Partners, Enspire
, and UOB
Venture Management

“When we first invested in ViSenze in 2014, retailers had just started
seeing the benefits of powering product recommendations with image
data,” said Adit Swarup, Partner, Rakuten Ventures. “Today, ViSenze not
only powers recommendations for the largest brands in the world, but has
helped pioneer a paradigm shift in ecommerce; helping consumers find
products inside their favorite social media videos and images, as well
as initiate a search directly from their camera app. Momentum has never
been stronger for AI-driven product innovation in retailing, and we are
proud to continue supporting ViSenze as an investor, partner, and

Previously ViSenze raised a $10.5 million Series B round in 2016. With
today’s announcement, the company’s total funding amounts to $34.5

About ViSenze

ViSenze powers visual commerce at scale for retailers and publishers.
The company delivers intelligent image recognition solutions that
shorten the path to action as consumers search and discover on the
visual web. Retailers like Rakuten and ASOS use ViSenze to convert
images into immediate product search opportunities, improving conversion
rates. Media companies use ViSenze to turn any image or video into an
engagement opportunity, driving incremental revenue.

Venture-backed by Rakuten and WI Harper, ViSenze is built by web
specialists and computer scientists with deep machine learning and
computer vision experience. ViSenze has offices in US, UK, China, South
Korea, India, and Singapore. For more information please visit:

About Gobi Partners

Gobi Partners is one of the first venture capital firms with a regional
presence across China, Hong Kong, and ASEAN with over $1.1 billion in
assets under management (AUM). The firm, headquartered in Shanghai and
Kuala Lumpur, supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and
focuses on emerging and underserved markets. Founded in 2002, Gobi has
raised 11 funds to date, invested in over 200 startups, and has grown to
nine offices across Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok,
Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila, and Jakarta. For more information,
please visit

About Sonae IM

is the technology investment arm of Sonae
, a multinational exceeding six billion euros in revenues with
core activities in retail and telecommunications. Sonae IM invests
globally in retail and telecommunications technology companies, as well
as in cybersecurity. Sonae IM has 26 direct investments, encompassing
stakes in companies from early stage to growth stage and stakes in 20
companies, namely OutSystems
and Feedzai
through Armilar Venture Partners.

About Rakuten Ventures

Rakuten Ventures is a venture capital arm of Rakuten, Inc. specializing
in startups, early, and growth stage investments. The firm seeks to
invest in fin-tech, information technology services, advertisement
technology, e-commerce, ad-tech companies, audio ad targeting,
artificial intelligence, and internet software services. It seeks to
invest in companies in Japan, Israel, Asia Pacific, and the United
States. Rakuten Ventures was founded in 2013 and is based in Singapore,
Singapore, with an additional office in Japan.

About WI Harper Group

WI Harper Group is a pioneer and leading cross-border venture capital
firm investing in early and expansion stage companies across Greater
China, Asia Pacific and the US. With offices in Beijing, Taipei, and San
Francisco, the firm actively oversees more than $1 billion in assets
under management. Since inception nearly three decades ago, WI Harper
has invested in over 400 startups and has successfully experienced more
than 100 IPO and M&A exits. We look for innovative companies and
visionary founders in healthcare and technology fields where there are
high synergies and meaningful value added cross selling opportunities.


Kristen Georgette

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