Face++, a face recognition technology provider, announced that it netted US$22 million of Series B funding at a valuation of over US$100 million from a consortium led by Qiming Ventures and Series A investor Innovation Works. The angel round was received from Legend Star, the angel arm of Legend Holdings, the parent company of Lenovo.
Formed in 2012 by three Tsinghua University alumni, Face++ is a cloud-based face recognition technology company which helps developers and companies to embed advanced face detection, analysis and recognition, and large-scale search techs in their apps and websites. It provides face-related API and offline software development kits as well as customized cloud services to both developers and enterprises.
The Beijing-based startup plans to accelerate the commercial application of its face recognition technology with the new funding, mainly from two perspectives.
1) Application in Financial Services: Financial institutions that integrate facial biometrics data to their systems can improve users’ financial security when they access their private accounts. The startup has entered partnership with Ant Financial, Alibaba’s finance arm which runs Alipay, and several commercial banks.
2) Camera data + IFTTT model: Combining camera data with the flexible If This Then That (IFTTT) service will allow customers to trigger pre-defined functions when the camera captures the facial information of clients. For example, if a camera in a boutique recognizes the facial information of VIP clients, the sales manager can then offer customized services to them so as to optimize the user experience.
The company claims to have been integrated into more than 14,000 apps, covering over 40 million mobile devices per month. Its partners include Alibaba, Qihoo360, Weibo, Momo, Meitu, Camera360, and Jiayuan.