Visual search firm Donde raises $6.5M
Donde, a company that provides visual search technology to retailers and e-commerce sites, has raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners, according to a Donde press release.
Senior leaders from AliExpress, Google, Waze and Mobileye, all of whom were previous investors in the company, also participated in the latest funding round, which brought the company's total funding to $10 million, the release stated.
The new funding comes several months after Forever 21 said the visual search capability in its iOS mobile app, which used Donde's technology, showed evidence of increasing conversions and a 20% increase in average purchase value after its launch.
One way for a company to get investors excited about its retail-focused technology is to get it adopted by a well-known retailer. The Forever 21 endorsement likely boosted Donde's profile among the investor community and other potential customers for the technology.
Donde said in the press release that it will use the new infusion of financing "to scale the business and develop partnerships with major retailers in the U.S." The company added that it also has been working on pilot projects with other retailers in both the U.S. and Europe.
The company's software-as-a-service platform, which leverages artificial intelligence, computer vision and natural language processing, has been available for a little over a year. Over roughly the same time span the sector's interest in visual search technology has spiked, with companies like Farfetch, H&M and Asos adopting visual search tools, and Walmart reportedly working on its own technology.
The next several months could see a great deal more adoption of visual search by retailers that have closely watched the successes of brands like Forever 21. In addition to Donde, a number of small technology vendors like Syte and Slyce are vying for attention.