Israeli startup Syte.ai, which developed a visual AI platform for the retail and eCommerce industries, announced a $30 million Series C funding round in addition to another $10 million in debt. The investment was led by Viola Ventures, with participation from LG Tech Ventures, LaMaison, MizMaa Ventures, Kreos Capital, and existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures, and KDS Media Fund.
Visual AI sparks the future of style
Syte provides retailers and eCommerce stores with an AI visual product discovery platform. This way, according to Syte, online shoppers will be able to better connect with their favorite brands and designs. This has only grown stronger due to the online shopping surge COVID-19 has brought upon the industry, which the company notes that it fully felt by experiencing exponential growth over the pandemic period.
"In the new age of eCommerce, the brands and retailers that create truly individualized and memorable customer experiences will thrive, and our mission is to help them do so," said Syte CEO and Co-founder, Ofer Fryman. "Our focus for 2021 and beyond will be to develop and acquire solutions that create product discovery experiences spanning the full range of our senses -- visual, text, voice, and more -- with an end-to-end platform that leverages visual AI and next-generation personalization across the board. This investment gives us the resources to execute this vision."
As many consumers experiment with online shopping for the first time and others branch out to new brands, eCommerce discovery has become paramount for customer acquisition and retention in the new pandemic normal. To harness this potential opportunity for brands and retailers to strengthen their bond with their followers while further exposing themselves to new markets, Syte claims that it will use the funding round to further expand the SaaS platform’s global reach. With much of their early customer base in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Syte will focus on expansion in the United States and Asia-Pacific.
Ronen Nir, General Partner at Viola Ventures, explained that product discovery has long been a challenge of even the biggest brands and retailers, and that problem is exacerbated online where shoppers can't see and touch products in the same way.
"Syte built a platform that marries inspiration and innovation in such a way that it creates an enjoyable, personal, and easy-to-navigate experience for shoppers while solving the problem of product exposure and discoverability for brands -- something that has only become increasingly urgent in our new reality," Nir said. "Syte's growth is a testament to their second-to-none technology, their forward-thinking team, and their laser-sharp focus on customer experience. I'm already looking forward to the impact their continued innovation will have on the eCommerce industry."
Syte, which has been in the game since 2015, has amassed an impressive list of partner brands over the years, including Prada, Tommy Hifinger, Fashion Nova, and boohoo. The company was founded by CEO Ofer Fryman, who is married to co-founder and CRO Lihi Pinto Fryman, who is sister to Idan Pinto, and the 3 later on added Dr. Helge Voss to the crew. The company is based in Tel Aviv and has raised over $71 million to date.