eBay, the US multinational that provides sales and services via the internet, has signed an accord to buy Tel Aviv-based startup Corrigon Ltd., a maker of visual search technologies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Israeli website TheMarker estimated it at around $30 million.
Corrigon is eBay’s third acquisition this year — following those of Israel’s SalesPredict and Sweden’s Expertmaker — as the e-commerce giant looks to use machine learning and big data to improve its customers’ buying experience and get better insight into its inventory.
The Israeli company’s technology uses advanced image identification algorithms that allows web users to home in on an image and compare it to billions of others in real time, even if the images have been colored, cropped or modified. This enables manufacturers and content providers to keep tabs on their products — getting image-based alerts about their brand presence on the web — and protect their copyright, while it enables customers to interact with products they like, get links to where they can buy them, and buy them on the spot.
Corrigon’s expertise will ensure that buyers get exactly what they seek as they peruse the more than one billion items that eBay lists on its platform, the US company said in an October 5 statement.
Corrigon will bring “deep experience in image processing and computer vision to eBay,” the company said. “Its technology and expertise will contribute to eBay’s efforts with image recognition, classification and image enhancements as part of its structured data initiative.”
There are three parts to eBay’s structured data initiative: first, collect the data; second, process and enrich the data; and third, create product experiences. Corrigon will support the second and third parts – processing and enriching the data and creating product experiences, according to the statement.
“As we continue to evolve the eBay shopping experience, Corrigon’s technology and expertise will help buyers find the best results when shopping on eBay through experiences that were not possible a year ago, before our investments in structured data,” said Amit Menipaz, vice president and general manager of structured data at eBay.
“Corrigon’s state-of-the art visual search technology enables fine grained product detection within images,” said Avinoam Omer, co-founder and CEO of Corrigon. “Working in partnership with eBay’s structured data team, we will help eBay sellers list more efficiently and eBay buyers find what they are looking for faster in order to increase customer sales conversions.”
At the close of the transaction, the Corrigon team will join eBay’s structured data organization and will be based in eBay’s Israel Development Center in Netanya.
Corrigon was co-founded in 2008 by Avinoam Omer and Einav Itamar. Prior to Corrigon, Omer founded Zoomix, a developer of machine learning technology for data quality and management that was acquired by Microsoft.