A Russian developer that has created an open source computer vision platform in collaboration with Facebook and Google is going to expand into the US, Europe and Asia
July 7, 2016 – Moscow, Russia – VisionLabs, a Russian software company specialized on stand alone and cloud visual recognition solutions, announced today that it raises a $5,5M Series A from venture capital firm Sistema Venture Capital. VisionLabs will use the funds to improve its face recognition technology, scale sales and expand into the new markets, including to the US, Europe and Asia.
VisionLabs is a resident company of Skolkovo Innovation Center. It specializes on stand-alone and cloud visual recognition solutions for finance, retail, video surveillance and security industries. The company’s core product is a face recognition platform VisionLabs LUNA. VisionLabs LUNA allows near real-time recognition of millions of faces from video and photo streams in order to identify people. VisionLabs LUNA technology is also a basement for cloud service VisionLabs Fase_IS, which is mostly used in retail industry. VisionLabs Face_IS allows hassle free matching of shoppers with customer databases and purchase history. VisionLabs solutions are plug & play and by default integrated with most of popular database management systems, CRMs and BI applications. The solutions can be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructure and usually do not require complex hardware upgrades.
The VisionLabs Company and Russian credit Bureau Equifax (Russian branch of the Global Equifax Company) had signed off the exclusive 10-years partnership agreement in 2014. According to the contract, Equifax Russia has implemented the VisionLabs software for dace recognition. Equifax use this software as an engine in interbank credit anti-fraud solution – “Fraud prevention system”. There are more than 20 large Russian banks are connected to the solution. They use the VisionLabs software (“LUNA”) for facial recognition to streamline customer service and prevent credit fraud.
In 2015 VisionLabs and Equifax, the largest world credit bureau, signed a 10-year partnership agreement to integrate VisionLabs LUNA into service for credit fraud prevention. Currently VisionLabs partners with more than 10 banking organisations in Russia and CIS, which use visual recognition products to streamline customer service and prevent credit fraud. Starting from 2016 VisionLabs runs pilot projects basing on VisionLabs Face_IS cloud services with such customers like retail networks, car dealers and service sector companies.
Last year VisionLabs launched a joint project with Facebook and Google. As a part of this collaboration deal, VisionLabs integrated its open source computer vision platform with OpenCV and Torch. OpenCV Open Source Computer Vision Library and Torch Open Source Scientific Computing Framework are one of the most popular tools for developers in computer vision field. Google and Facebook funded the work and tested the results. Outside Russia VisionLabs runs several pilot projects with retail banks, retail networks and airports. The company also setups few brand new products in partnership with Intel, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and one of the world's largest telecommunication company.
VisionLabs was founded by computer vision expert Alexander Khanin, twice Computer Science PhD Ivan Laptev and Skolkovo Executive MBA graduate Alexey Nekhaev. The company accounts prizes at many Russian and international competitions and accelerator programs. VisionLabs is the only Russian startup won ChallengeUp! Accelerator Program, organized by Deutsche Telekom, Intel and Cisco in May 2016.
According to Sistema_VC’s President Alexey Katkov it is very important not only to develop a technology, but to build commercially successful product as well. «We see VisionLabs as a quite rare example of a company, which have managed to build a technology and create globally recognized successful product. We believe that VisionLabs LUNA has a great potential in many applications, such as bank and retail payments verification, advertising technologies, user identification in IoT products, medicine, transportation and VR/AR» — stated Alexey Katkov.
«Starting from a certain stage a startup needs to find a strong strategic partner to scale the company. Sistema_VC is going to help us to complete several challenging projects in Russia and to expand globally as well», — adds Alexander Khanin, founder and CEO of VisionLabs.
«VisionLabs is a great example of how a breakthrough technology (neural networks used for face recognition) is combined with the precisely selected market segment for its commercialization in financial sector, a highly skilled team, uniting representatives of science and business, and the right place to realize the project – in Skolkovo. We are content that the ecosystem created in the Innovation Center allows the companies to develop and grow to their full potential,» – comments Igor Bogachev, VP, Executive Director of IT Cluster, Skolkovo Foundation.
MarketsandMarkets research says, that in 2015 world’s facial recognition market was around $2,2B and it can grow up to $6,2B in 2020. Today facial recognition technologies are used in financial, retail, video surveillance and security industries. One of most promising applications of the technology is biometrical authorization. MasterCard, Amazon, Google, DBS and OCBC already started testing payments approval using facial data.
About Sistema Venture Capital
Sistema Venture Capital invests in Internet-based companies and technologies. We are looking for scalable platform solutions (SaaS/PaaS), marketplaces, advertising technologies, IoT projects and entertainment startups, including online gaming and VR/AR. The fund is led by Alexey Katkov, former Senior Manager of the Mail.Ru Group. For more information, please visit www.sistema.vc.
VisionLabs is a world-leading visual recognition company. VisionLabs develops software and solutions for finance, retail, video surveillance and security sectors. For more information, please visit www.visionlabs.ru
About the Skolkovo Foundation
The Skolkovo Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in September 2010 by the Russian government with the objective of accelerating Russia’s transformation from a resource-intensive to an innovation-based economy. To achieve this objective, the Foundation is overseeing the creation of the Skolkovo Innovation Center, composed of more than 1,400 high-tech startups, Skolkovo Technopark, the Skolkovo Institute of Technology (Skoltech), located near Moscow. Together, these entities establish a vibrant ecosystem of technology innovation and entrepreneurship. The cumulative revenue of Skolkovo’s startups through December 2015 reached $1 billion. They brought in more than $270 million in investment, creating 17,500 jobs and filing over 1,800 patent applications along the way. By 2020 over 2 million square meters of residential and office space will be built in Skolkovo with 35,000 people working daily in the Innovation Center. For more information: http://www.sk.ru/en
For additional information
Sistema Venture Capital