face.com

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How recognizable are you in a crowd?  According to Face.com, a Tel-Aviv-based company that develops facial recognition technology, you can be pinpointed in a Facebook crowd consisting of 500 million users and 7 billion pictures with 90% accuracy.  Evidently, several investors believe that that is no mean feat, and they are showing their support by pouring funds into the Israeli startup.

Face.com announced Monday that it has raised $4.3 million in a series B round of funding led by previous investor Rhodium and Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine.  Considered the “Google of Russia,” this round of financing marks the first time that Yandex has invested in an Israeli company. Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh has joined Face.com’s board of directors.

Founded in 2007 and launched publicly in 2009, the startup’s technology works by developing an algorithm of the face and the arrangement of the features, thereby making it possible to identify a single face out of a sea of photos online.  Between the company’s two Facebook apps, Photo Finder and Photo Tagger, it has scanned no less than 7 billion images and identified 56 million faces.  Photo Finder alone tagged 400 million photos in its first month.

In May, the company – which has raised $5.3 million in total funds – launched a developer community and an open API, to allow third party developers to tap into Face.com’s facial recognition technology to develop their own facial recognition apps.  Some recent apps have included Celeb-Finder/Twitterazzi, which allows Internet users to scan for celebrity photos on Twitter, Poster Yourself, which allows users to upload pictures of themselves or friends and plug faces into popular posters, and Tagger Widget, which automatically places tags on people’s faces in photographs to allow users to easily add names.

(more details at face.com)


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