Yandex, operator of Russia’s largest search engine, has invested in Tel-Aviv based facial recognition technology startup Face.com, marking its first investment in an Israeli company. In total, Face.com 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 Face.com 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.
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.
Face.com has indeed accepted a round of funding. The total amount is $4.3M USD, and the participants included Rhodium, Yandex, and current private investors. We’re going to use the money to boost our development team, hire some new and talented people, and build out additional infrastructure to support our facial recognition platform.
We’ve had thousands of developers sign up to join our platform and get access to our facial recognition API’s, and we want to support those developers and provide great technology. We’re excited and very proud to have the support from our investors.
Face.com is helping people find photos, using our home grown best-in-breed facial recognition technologies. The first deployment of our tech is our Photo Finder application for Facebook, today’s largest photo sharing site, which scans public photos in your social network and suggests tags for untagged faces. face.com has offices in Tel Aviv and New York.
Yandex is an internet technologies company that operates in Russia, CIS and Turkey. It is the largest Russian and fourth-largest world internet search engine. Yandex is an acronym for the phrase Yet Another Indexer. As of March 2013, Yandex had about 61% of the Russian search market (source: LiveInternet.ru). Yandex’s mission is to give the answer to the user anytime and anywhere. Company provides its services for desktop and mobile users and develops embedded solutions as well. The company specializes on highly-targeted...
Rhodium is a private investing firm, focusing on high growth cutting-edge opportunities in the fields of Internet, New-media, Mobile and new technologies in general. Its mission is to identify the most promising entrepreneurs and help them to build thriving companies. Rhodium supports entrepreneurs and strengthens their ventures with its resources; funding, broad management expertise and an extensive valuable network of business contacts around the globe. Rhodium looks to take an active role in most of its portfolio companies. Rhodium strategically invests...