Facebook Inc. announced Monday that it has acquired Tel-Aviv-based facial-recognition technology company Face.com. No financial details were disclosed but sources believe that the acquisition has been made for about $100 million.
Face.com, founded in 2007, has developed technology used for facial recognition on photos loaded onto websites and through mobile applications. The company has released two apps used on Facebook called Photo Finder and Photo Tagger.
In a brief statement, Facebook said the company’s technology “has helped to provide the best photo experience” for people sharing photos over the social network.
Facebook added, “This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house."
Face.com is Facebook's second acquisition in Israel, following the acquisition of Snaptu for $70 million in March 2011. Snaptu's app provides ordinary mobile phones (not smartphones) easy access to social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. Following the deal, Snaptu's workforce moved to Facebook's headquarters, where they joined its mobile division to develop a unique Facebook app for ordinary mobile phones, as part of the social network's attempt to enter emerging markets where the use of smartphones is just beginning.
It remains to be seen if Face.com will remain based in Israel or whether it will be moved to Facebook headquarters like Snaptu.
Face.com has raised $5.8 million since it was founded in 2007 thus Face.com's investors will make a handsome return on their investment.
CEO Gil Hirsch, CTO Yaniv Taigman, chairman Moti Shniberg, and director Eden Shochat founded Face.com. Investors include Russian search engine Yandex, which invested $4.3 million in September 2011 and Daniel Recanati's Rhodium Ventures which holds a 18.4% stake. Other investors include Yaniv Golan, Yariv Gilat, and co-founder Shochat.
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