UPDATED: Apple buys Polar Rose for a rumoured $29 million

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How nice, a pink Samsung Galaxy S that comes with make-up!

Polar Rose, a Malmö, Sweden startup which built a very interesting facial recognition programme which hooked into Facebook photos, has been bought by Apple, according to Swedish media.

The 15-person company was previously majority owned by Danish private equity fund Nordic Venture Partners, and it now appears Apple has taking over the entire shareholding. Neither Apple nor the company is commenting.

However, we have rock-solid sources that say the company went for $22 million. Polar Rose has had about $6 million in VC funding since 2006.

Two weeks ago Polar Rose shut down its service whereby you could apply the Polar Rose plugin to recognise faces on Flickr and Facebook, saying they were moving towards becoming a licensing business.

But it now looks like Polar Rose’s technology it poised to enter the Mac and the iPhone.

Apple has also acquired UK imaging company Imsense for similar purposes.

UPDATE: We have now confirmed that although we were close, the actual figure was closer to $29 million.

  • http://www.slashgear.com/apple-buy-polar-rose-facial-recognition-specialists-ar-recognizr-coming-to-iphone-20103315/ Apple buy Polar Rose facial-recognition specialists: AR Recognizr coming to iPhone? - SlashGear

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  • http://www.intomobile.com/2010/09/20/apple-polar-rose-mobile-facial-recognition-ios-mobileme/ Apple acquiring Swedish facial recognition company Polar Rose

    […] service. Neither Apple nor Polar Rose has commented on this rumor.UPDATED: Tech Crunch Europe is reporting that its rock-solid sources confirm that Polar Rose was purchased by Apple for a cool $22 […]

  • http://technytt.se/2010/09/apple-koper-svenska-ansiktsspecialister-polar-rose/ Apple köper svenska ansiktsspecialister Polar Rose

    […] TechCrunch Tweet […]

  • http://www.smartphonetop10.com/2010/09/apple-acquiring-swedish-company-polar-rose-facial-recognition-coming-to-ios-updated/ Smart Phone Top 10 » Apple acquiring Swedish company Polar Rose, facial recognition coming to iOS? (UPDATED)

    […] Tech Crunch Europe is reporting that its rock-solid sources confirm that Polar Rose was purchased by Apple for a cool $22 […]

  • http://wp.arcticstartup.com/2010/09/20/is-apple-buying-polar-rose/ Is Apple Buying Polar Rose? – ArcticStartup

    […] TechCrunch has a story on this, apparently Polar Rose went for $22 million. Looking for a job? Hiring? Check out the […]

  • http://twitter.com/gabepolk Gabriel Polk

    Sound like a business deal Mikael Blomkvist should look into…

    • morn

      Well the best acquisition of Apple is that liquidmetal technology.

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  • http://www.it-scoop.com/2010/09/apple-polar-rosefacial-recognition/ أنباء عن شراء Apple لـ Polar Rose المتخصصة في التعرف على الأوجه | المجلة التقنية

    […] جهتها أشارت مدونة TechCrunch إلى أن مصادرها “الموثوقة جدا” أكدت أن […]

  • http://www.gigapie.com MJ

    Congratulations to Polar Rose. Great news for Swedish startups.

  • http://www.marketingtactics.com Dave Barnes

    Now that Apple has spent all of its cash horde, I guess that is the end of that.

  • vicky

    looks like the time has come to eat the APPLE…


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  • http://slyvisions.com/files/apple-acquires-swdish-startup-polar-rose-for-22-million/ Apple acquires Swdish startup Polar Rose for $22 million | Tech | SlyVisions dot Com

    […] Swedish media, Apple has acquired Polar Rose, a startup which makes face recognition software and apps. Polar Rose was founded in […]

  • The DataDude

    @ Dave Barnes

    You are kidding right? Apple’s “cash horde” was pegged at over $40 billion about six months ago. Polar Rose was purchased for about $22 million…

    • Rabidcb

      I think he was being sarcastic.

  • http://www.quintura.com Yakov

    It’s good to know that Apple buys out VC backed tech companies!

  • ree tung

    OK that makes a lot of sense dude. WOw.


  • http://iggyz.com/?p=12376 Polar Rose Gnomedex 2007

    […] Apple buys Polar Rose for a rumoured $22 million […]

  • http://www.teedoz.com/2010/3%c3%971-%d8%ad%d9%85%d8%a7%d9%8a%d8%a9-%d8%ac%d9%88%d8%ac%d9%84%d8%8c-%d8%a3%d8%b5%d8%af%d9%82%d8%a7%d8%a1-%d9%81%d9%8a%d8%b3%d8%a8%d9%88%d9%83-%d8%8c-%d8%a5%d8%b3%d8%aa%d8 3×1: حماية جوجل، أصدقاء فيسبوك ، إستحواذ آبل | تيدوز

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  • http://augmentedrealitybiz.com/2010/09/20/face-recognition-augmented-reality/ Face Recognition & Augmented Reality « AugmentedRealityBiz.com

    […] Auch TechCrunch hat darüber berichtet – dort werden Gerüchte genannt, die von einem Kaufpreis von 29 Millionen US-$ ausgehen. […]

  • Ben Kessler

    Most likely to just add ‘Faces’ functionality to iOS and build it out even more in iPhoto.

  • http://www.oromoindex.com/newswire/2010/09/20/apple-buys-some-face-technology/ Apple buys some face technology | O-I Newswire

    […] is reported to have paid $29 million for the 15-person company — typical of the kind of small, targeted […]

  • http://itsalltech.com/2010/09/20/report-apple-acquires-face-recognition-company/ REPORT: Apple acquires face recognition company | It's All Tech

    […] Polar Rose also specializes in sever-side and mobile applications for face recognition.According to TechCrunch, has been bought by Apple for roughly $29 million. Recent PostsREPORT: Apple acquires face […]

  • http://apponmyi.com/apple-acquired-one-by-one/ Apple acquired one by one » By suma » Apple, Though, Before, Thanks, Sources, Imsense » App on my i

    […] Thanks, techcrunch.com […]

  • John

    Kudos to the Polar Rose team! Now guys enjoy the cash and take a holiday for the hard work in the last six years!

    • m

      “guys enjoy the cash”? It sounds like Nordic Venture Partners will eat the cake…

      • n

        Yeah Polar Rose has been running on fumes for the last couple of years after completely failing to monetize their technology. They burned through 6M and half a dozen failed business plans.

        When the CEO was booted/replaced, Nordic Ventures got hand of basically all shares and took control of the company. For them it is a good exit. Good return on investment.

        Not so much for the founders and employees. I doubt they will see much of that 29 million. Except for a job at a great technology company. I bet some of them are already making moving plans to move to California. I think you can consider that a good exit, career wise.

  • http://winenbel.nl/2010/09/20/apple-stort-zich-op-software-voor-gezichtsherkenning/ http://www.winenbel.nl » Blog Archive » Apple stort zich op software voor gezichtsherkenning

    […] Zweedse media heeft Apple het softwarebedrijf Polar Rose, gevestigd in Zweden, overgenomen. Polar Rose is gespecialiseerd in gezichtsherkenningssoftware en heeft verschillende […]

  • http://themacfeed.com/2010/09/daily-news-recap-september-20-2010/ Daily News Recap (September 20, 2010) | TheMacFeed

    […] begin licensing something from TV company Rovi. Apple also acquired the facial recognition company Polar Rose. More evidence of the touchscreen iMac emerged amongst other things in patents. in other patent […]

  • http://applehotnews.net/2010/09/21/rumor-apple-purchased-face-id-firm-%e2%80%98polar-rose%e2%80%99/ Rumor: Apple Purchased Face ID Firm ‘Polar Rose’ « Apple Hot News

    […] Apple has acquired Polar Rose, a Swedish augmented-reality firm, according to multiple independent news outlets. TechCrunch claims that Polar Rose sold for million. […]

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