Facebook acquires GrokStyle virtual search start-up to boost AI capabilities

Facebook is struggling to respond to growing demands from Washington to explain how the personal data of millions

Facebook acquires visual shopping startup to bolster AI work

It's not clear exactly what team within Facebook GrokStyle and its "AI capabilities" will be a part of. Earlier this month, Facebook bought the team behind blockchain technology company Chainspace for an undisclosed sum. "Their team and technology will contribute to our AI capabilities", CNET quoted Facebook spokeswoman Vanessa Chan as saying.

GrokStyle has posted a farewell letter on its website, but it didn't mention the Facebook acquisition. Based in San Francisco, the start-up was founded in 2015. It is the same technology that is powering the visual search function of the Ikea Place app - TechCrunch says that it was so impressive that the Swedish company wanted to roll it out as one of the features of its app "on first sight".

"We founded GrokStyle to reimagine the retail experience". In practice, the computer vision app matches user's furniture photos to online products that they could then go and buy.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook has acquired an artificial intelligence startup that could change the way that people browse Marketplace. The company is known for technology that allows shoppers to search for furniture and other items by taking photos with their phones.

Grokstyle had raised $2.5 million in venture funding from investors that included National Science Foundation, Neuron.VC, Amit Singhal, Luc Vincent, Amino Capital, Krishna Bharat, Red Bear Angels and Canaan Partners.

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