IL MAKIAGE, co-founded by Israeli businessman Oren Holtzman, announced the acquisition of Voyage81. This is the second acquisition of an Israeli startup in the last two years. According to reports, the deal was sealed at $40 million, with the entire Voyage81 staff transferring to IL MAKIAGE. The beauty company’s CEO notes in a chat with Geektime that this is definitely not the last time they shop in the Israeli tech aisle.
Customized product offering from a single image
The startup being acquired, Voyage81, develops patented software that brings hyperspectral imaging capabilities to smartphones. Voyage81’s software extracts over 30 channels of hyperspectral information from RGB images taken with existing smartphone cameras. In addition to its vision software, the Israeli startup is currently developing a hardware-based solution, in tandem with some of the largest global smartphone manufacturers, that builds on the company’s hyperspectral software to significantly enhance photos taken in low-light conditions.
In a conversation with Geektime, CEO Oren Holtzman explains that all 20 Voyage81 team members will join IL MAKIAGE, which is emerging from the beauty sector as a major tech player: “80 out of our 200 employees are techies.” As part of the acquisition, Nvi Price, Voyage81 CEO, becomes IL MAKIAGE’s new CTO and Dr. Boaz Arad takes over as Chief Vision Officer.
According to Holtzman, 90% of the company’s activity is carried out online directly to the consumer, and instead of customers having to choose products based on guesswork, the company decided to build artificial intelligence mechanisms that would match products to customers. “Now we are adding a Vision layer that will allow us to enter additional areas and improve our machine learning. We were just waiting for the right time. Once users upload their image to the system, they will receive tailored product offers, and on the other side, the company will have to collect less data from customers, while still providing more accurate results.
This is not IL MAKIAGE’s first acquisition from the Israeli tech pool. Back in 2019, they acquired NeoWize, which equipped the beauty company with a large chunk of its AI technologies. IL MAKIAGE had also acquired Israeli startup Missbeez, which aimed to be a sort of “Gett for beauty and luxury products.” However, Holtzman notes that this is a whole different division; separate from the parent company’s operations.
When I ask Holtzman if the Israeli startup shopping spree is bound to continue, he answers unequivocally yes, claiming that the company focuses primarily on Israeli innovation due to its technological R&D being already based in Israel: “There is no reason to look for tech abroad. In the end, we want the workers to work together.” According to Holtzman, he has met with more than 20 startups in the field of computer vision, and aside from Voyage81, none innovated the spheres in which IL MAKIAGE operates. ”They developed groundbreaking technology that can change the industry in which we operate, simply because it will reduce the amount of data required."
Voyage81 was founded in 2018 by CEO Niv Price and CTO Dr. Boaz Arad, and to date has raised $9 million over two separate funding rounds. This obviously means that investors stand to make a nice return on their investments. Among the company’s key investors, we find: iAngels, Maniv Mobility, True Ventures, and Nextgear ventures.