Visual search is now a central part of countless mobile apps, from Google Lens and Bing to Pinterest and eBay. Building the underlying AI infrastructure, which allows users to search databases and catalogs with images rather than words, is a resource-intensive endeavor that requires a great deal of time and technical expertise. This is where Syte comes in.
The Israeli startup has developed what is known as the “world’s first product discovery platform”, with which companies of all sizes can integrate the visual search into their own software via the Syte API. Today, Syte announced that it has raised $ 30 million in a Series C financing round and an additional $ 10 million in debt funding to accelerate its global expansion and further develop its visual discovery engine.
Founded in 2015 in Tel Aviv, Syte created the visual AI smarts that retailers can use to improve the search experience in their online stores. For example, a fashion brand may want to give customers the ability to use a photo they upload to search for new items or find similar items that they see on the brand’s website or social media channels.
Conversely, a retailer may want to incorporate a recommendation engine that will proactively suggest different types of clothing based on something a customer has been proactively looking for – and this is something Syte also offers.
In order to initially integrate with Syte, retailers must first send their entire product catalog to be indexed and tagged. Thereafter, Syte continuously monitors and indexes the customer’s product feed throughout the day to ensure that it is up to date.
“This way, customers get the most relevant results in real time, and brands can deliver hyper-personalized experiences based on customer visual preferences,” Ofer Fryman, co-founder and CEO of Syte, told VentureBeat. “In addition, with automatic product labeling, brands can easily set up intelligent merchandising rules, for example to advertise a seasonal collection or bestseller in search results.”
The state of affairs
There are other visual search providers, including Microsoft’s Bing Visual Search and VC-backed New York startup Donde. However, Syte claims that its speed and 95% accuracy in object customization set it apart, while visual search is only one component of its offering. For example, earlier this month Syte launched Augmented Site Search, which uses visual AI to automatically categorize products based on the language a shopper might use when searching natural language, such as: B. “elegant red heels”.
“Because Syte’s visual AI is consistently trained on fashion, jewelry and home decor products, including millions of products from vendors around the world, it has compiled the largest vertical specific dictionary in the industry so that not just objects can be recognized in one Image, but also to assign them a variety of detailed product labels based on their visual attributes, ”said Fryman.
This has the potential to greatly improve the accuracy of search results on ecommerce websites. For example, a traditional keyword search for a “shirt” would likely bring up clothing items whose description includes the words “dress” or “shirt”. However, having an item automatically categorized based on its visual appearance can help reduce the number of steps a shopper must take to find what they’re looking for.
Previously, Syte had raised approximately $ 31 million last year, including the Series B round of $ 21.5 million. The final round of funding was led by return investor Viola Ventures, with the participation of LG Tech Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital. Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures, and KDS Media Fund.
With an additional $ 40 million in the bank, Syte will accelerate the launch of a so-called “Complete Product Discovery” platform. “This allows retailers to create, personalize, monitor, test and analyze all of their websites’ voyages of discovery in one place,” said Fryman.
In addition, Fryman said the funding will help scale Syte’s research and development efforts and expand its advanced website search to more languages. If necessary, acquisitions could also be examined.
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