Cortica Raises $6.4M To Improve Visual Search And In-Image Ads

Cortica, a startup developing technology for analyzing in-image content, is announcing that it has raised $6.4 million in Series B funding.

The round was led by previous investors Horizons Ventures (the firm which manages investments for Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing), with participation from Russian firm Group and other angel investors. Cortica has now raised a total of $18 million.

Founded by neuroscientists Yehoshua (Josh) Zeevi and Karina Odinaev, as well as engineer Igal Raichelgauz (the company’s CEO), Cortica says its Image2Text technology processes images based on patterns and identifies the images’ core concepts. It also says that it delivers zero false positives — in other words, it might not identify every concept associated with an image, but it will never incorrectly identify one of them.

When I spoke to Cortica last year, it was focused on using the technology for in-image advertising — if you have an accurate sense of the content of an image, you can place ads that are a good match. Advertising is still one of the use cases, Raichelgauz said, as is e-commerce, but the biggest use among the company’s initial commercial partners is visual search. The technology is now deployed across hundreds of millions of images, he added.

“The goal now is to distribute Cortica technology across multiple partners, whether those are leading publishers, leading manufacturers of devices, and so on,” Raichelgauz said.