Online auctioneer eBay is buying Tel Aviv-based startup Corrigon for about $20 million, TheMarker has learned.
Corrigon has developed face-recognition technology that permits searching and monitoring of internet content such as images and videos. The technology lets content providers track the use of their content even if it’s copied or modified. EBay is apparently interested in this know-how to improve its ability to search for products and carry out brand management operations.
PicScout, a rival to Corrigon, was sold to Getty Images for about $20 million in 2011.
Corrigon was founded in 2009 by current CEO Avinoam Omer and Einav Itamar, and has 15 employees. Technology incubator The Time is among its shareholders. It’s assumed that its operations will now be integrated into eBay’s Israeli development center in Netanya, which has a staff of about 400. EBay did not comment for this article.
Since it was established seven years ago, Corrigon had attracted several million shekels in funding. This came from the Office of the Chief Scientist, venture capital fund The Time (which is thought to hold a 30% stake in the firm), and chip-maker Qualcomm, which has another 10%. The founders and employees of Corrigon also hold shares in the company.
In 2011, Corrigon won Qualcomm’s QPrize competition, which included a cash award of about $100,000. Qualcomm subsequently invested in the firm through its Qualcomm Ventures investment firm.
Omer is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces’ computing and information systems unit (known by its Hebrew acronym, Mamram). In 1999, he founded data-quality software startup Zoomix, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008 for an estimated $25-$35 million.
In July, eBay acquired another Israeli startup, SalesPredict, which was established in 2012. SalesPredict attracted $5.3 million in investments, but was thought to be sold for around $20 million.
SalesPredict’s technology identifies user patterns, upon which it predicts consumers’ preferences and buying habits. In the process, it helps e-commerce vendors improve the rate at which potential customers actually make purchases. SalesPredict’s technology will be included in eBay’s product catalog and pricing guide.