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May 30, 2013 3:10 pm

Israel’s Cortica Raises $1.5m from Mail.Ru for Image to Text Technology

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Cortica Logo. Image: Cortica

Cortica, an Israeli technology developer,  received a $1.5 million investment from Russian internet company Group (LSE:MAIL) as part of a wider funding round to support the Israeli company’s Image2TextTM technology, the companies said in a statement.

Cortica’s technology simulates the human cortex in order to understand
and recognize images with the highest degree of accuracy. The company is pioneering a new approach to computer-driven understanding of images and videos.

Image2TextTM technology extracts core concepts from images and video, then maps those concepts to keywords and textual taxonomies to offer relevant content, search and advertising.

When exposed to a picture of the Eiffel Tower, Image2Text will recognize the image and offer background information on the tower, ads for cheap tickets to Paris and even a video featuring panoramic views of the city.

The company was founded in 2007 by neuroscience and big data experts Igal Raichelgauz, Karina Odinaev and Yehoshua Y. Zeevi. The core technology is protected by over 50 patents. Cortica headquarters is in New York City and its R&D center is in Israel.

Cortica raised $7 million in August 2012 from Horizons Ventures, a firm owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, and Ynon Kriez, the former chairman and CEO of the Endermol Group.

Mail.Ru Group is one of the five largest Internet sites in Russia, based on the number of total pages viewed, according to comScore, operating two of the three largest Russian language online social networking sites (Odnoklassniki and My World), two large Instant Messaging networks in Russia (Mail.Ru Agent and ICQ), Russia’s leading email service and largest Internet portal, as well as Russia’s largest online games platform.

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