Syte’s AI-powered image recognition tech raises $21.5m

10 Sep 2019

Syte's co-founders. Image: Syte

Syte has developed image recognition technology to help retailers stay competitive in the ‘fast-evolving’ e-commerce industry.

On Monday (9 September), Tel Aviv-based Syte announced that it has raised $21.5m in its Series B funding round.

The start-up, which has raised more than $30m to date, said the round was led by Viola Ventures, with investment from Storm Ventures, Commerce Ventures, AxessVentures and Lyra Ventures.

Syte, which has developed a mobile-based visual search engine for e-commerce, plans to use the funding to expand operations in the US, Europe and Asia.

The start-up aims to transform how people shop online. Since it was founded in 2015, it has developed a shopping experience with what it calls “the most accurate visual AI on the market”.

One of Syte’s solutions is a camera search that allows shoppers to take a photo of a garment or a piece of furniture, and find similar products online.

Syte refers to another feature in its technology as “deep tagging”. This involves AI automatically detecting features and colours on a product and assigning descriptive labels to them to save retailers time cataloguing individual products by colour, size, shape and design.

Syte’s technology has been adopted by brands such as Marks & Spencer, Boohoo and Tommy Hilfiger.

Expansion plans

The start-up said that following the investment, it plans to enter the next stage of “hyper” growth with a new office in San Francisco and the expansion of its existing New York office.

Syte will also be hiring around 70 more staff members in Israel and the US. The company plans to put an increased focus on visual AI research and development, and offer users visual AI personalisation.

Co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman said: “We have a vision to transform product discovery, and thus the e-commerce experience, both for retailers and consumers.

“For us, the validation of our technology and product development has come from our clients, who have selected Syte to help them stay competitive in the fast-evolving retail industry. With this round, we look forward to expanding our product offering in order to support our clients in more aspects of their digital innovation.”

Viola Ventures partner Ronen Nir added: “Rarely do we find companies that have managed to solve a technological problem that tech giants have been working for years to solve without success.

“The feedback from the market is clear and swift and the rate of adoption of Syte’s solution is unparalleled.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic