Syte, a Tel Aviv startup that is building technology to help retailers and digital platforms sell merchandise through visual search, has raised $21.5 million in a Series B funding round, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The funding round was led by Viola Ventures, with Storm Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Axess Ventures and Remagine Ventures all participating. This brings the company’s total amount raised to $32 million.
The company did not release its valuation but did say it’s projecting a 300 percent increase in revenue growth in 2019.
Visual search involves the “reading” of a picture and then matching up with its metadata to find similar objects, a practice that is now fairly common in the eCommerce world.
Syte tries to actively engage shoppers who use it. Shoppers can take pictures of things they like, and then similar items are found on retailer’s sites. Retailers, for their own part, can integrate Syte technology using the company’s API.
Syte CMO and Co-Founder Lihi Pinto Fryman said it took around three years to get the technology right, and that the product was officially launched about a year and a half ago.
Fryman said she wants to capture millennial dollars by working platforms like Instagram.
“Young people are on Instagram for hours each day,” Fryman said. “Retailers need to find a way to compete with that and remain in the market, and they can’t just continue what they’ve always done.”
She said Syte solves a lot of the problems other visual search companies deal with regularly.
“If you are searching for a ruffled floral yellow dress but you get a blouse, it just doesn’t cut it,” she said. “And if it takes seven seconds to get an answer, that’s also not good, because people will give up after two seconds. Millennials and Gen Z shoppers have a very short attention span, so you need to be accurate and fast.”