Image Recognition Startup ViSenze Gets $3.5M From Rakuten Ventures

TechCrunch

It’s been a very busy week for Rakuten as it seeks to take over the Internet. Earlier today the Tokyo-based online services giant announced the opening of its first R&D center in Europe. Just last week, Rakuten disclosed that it will acquire messaging app Viber for a cool $900 million.

Now ViSenze, a Singapore-based image recognition startup, has announced that it received a $3.5 million Series A led by Rakuten Ventures (the company’s venture capital arm). Investors Walden International and UOB Venture Management also participated.

The investment comes seven months after ViSenze, an spin-off company of the National University of Singapore, first announced that it had started collaborating with Rakuten Taiwan to launch visual fashion search and recognition tools on the e-commerce site.

Rakuten’s involvement with ViSenze is especially interesting because it parallels Amazon’s interest in image recognition tech. The U.S. e-commerce behemoth added a shopping-by-camera functionality to…

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