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Facebook rumored to buy facial recognition startup, Face.com

May 29, 2012
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face Facebook rumored to buy facial recognition startup, Face.com

Facebook’s first acquisition since going public

Israeli business news site, Calcalist1 is reporting that Facebook is in talks with Face.com to purchase their facial recognition technology for what NewsGeek2 says could be for $80 to $100 million dollars. Although the acquisition is not confirmed by any officials in either company, most are considering it a strong possibility.

TheNextWeb3 said, “From what we heard, negotiations between the two companies have been held a number of times over the years, but Face.com has so far rebuffed offers because of the ‘low’ price Facebook was willing to pay. We’ll see if this deal ever gets inked.”

Face.com describes their company as “helping people find photos, using our home grown best-in-breed facial recognition technologies,” adding that the first deployment of their technology is their “Photo Finder” app for Facebook “which scans public photos in your social network and suggests tags for untagged faces.” They have also recently launched a mobile facial recognition app for iOS called “KLIK,” and has a public API.

The company was founded in 2007 by co-founders Eden Shochat, Gil Hirsch, and Yaniv Taigman, and has offices in New York City and Tel Aviv. In 2009, Face.com saw $1M in Series A funding, and another $4.3M in their 2010 Series B round, funded by Rhodium and Yandex.



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In 2012, Facebook has acquired Sendoid (file transfer tool), Gazehawk (eye tracking tool for webcams), Instagram (photo app for $1B), Tagtile (loyalty purchas app), and Glancee (finds friends in common), which could potentially make Face.com the social network’s first acquisition since they went public.

Neither company has confirmed the potential acquisition, but after the holiday weekend, we suspect an announcement will be made in short order.

UPDATE: TechCrunch sources say the deal is not speculation, it is definitely real, and the two companies are currently in talks regarding acquisition.

UPDATE June 18, 2012: Face.com CEO confirms the acquisition.

1 Calcalist (story in Hebrew. Tip: open story in Google Chrome browser which will ask you if you want to translate.)
2 NewsGeek (also in Hebrew)
3 The Next Web

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.



Weigh in...

  • Roland Estrada

    It probably doesn’t mean anything, Some of their purchases have tended to be defensive as much as strategic. Apple and Google have had facial recognition for their photo editing apps for a few years. Even after Apple already had facial recognition in iPhoto, they bought a similar company by the name of Polar Rose back in 2010. Facebook is likely looking to acquire engineers and any patents the company might have.