Visual search company Cortica Inc. has raised $1.5 million from Moscow-based Mail.Ru Group (LSE: MAIL). Cortica is developing computer-driven understanding of images and videos through its proprietary Image2TextTM technology.
Mail.Ru Group is investing $1.5 million in Cortica in order to develop and access the Israeli company's Image2TextTM technology. This investment, Mail.RU said, is a part of a larger round led by other high profile investors. Cortica has previously raised $11 million from Li Ka-Shing's Horizons Ventures, Ynon Kreiz who serves as Cortica's chairman, and other private investors.
Cortica was founded in 2007 by CEO Igal Raichelgauz and neuroscientists Prof. Yehoshua (Joshua) Zeevi and Karina Odinaev, who assembled a multidisciplinary team of neuroscience researchers, digital multimedia experts, and veterans of Israeli Military Intelligence to develop and commercialize the technology.
Cortica's image recognition technology was originally developed at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. The technology enables computers to comprehend photo and video content on the web. The platform combines neuroscience and computer science to automatically recognize and interpret large amounts of visual data in real-time, including objects, places, faces, logos, brands, events, products, etc. with zero false positives. This breakthrough is a major improvement over decades-old face recognition and newer fingerprinting technologies, and addresses one of the greatest computing challenges on the Internet - automatic identification and processing of visual content.
The company is headquartered in New York City, with an office in Silicon Valley and development centers in Haifa and Ramat Gan.
Mor Yegerman, Mail.Ru Group head of international M&A said, "Cortica's breakthrough technology provides a degree of recognition and understanding accuracy that is comparable with that of the human brain.
Raichelgauz said "Mail.ru shares our vision for leveraging Image2Text technology for visual search and contextual advertising and taking users' web surfing experience to a whole new level. Mail.ru has the depth and breadth of market penetration to expose much larger audiences to Cortica's technology."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 29, 2013
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