Face++ is a tech startup based in Beijing who’s primary area of work is face recognition (hence the name). As such, Face++ develops a cloud-based API as well as an SDK so that developers can integrate it with their own apps. They have approximately 30,000 developers using its technology and have even partnered with the country’s biggest dating site, Jiayuan where a user uploads a photo of someone and the site would use the Face++ API to find the a person with similar features.
They recently announced that they raised $25 million USD as part of their series B funding, from November 2014. Companies such as Innovation Works and Ignition Partners have been contributors to the initial funding, though more recent investors have not yet been divulged, while more recent investors have not yet been disclosed. The latest funding brings the total series B funding to $47 million USD.
In a bit of a twist, Face++ was literally thrown in front of an audience at CeBIT, which is one of the largest and most international computer expos in the world, by Jack Ma, founder of AliBaba. He demonstrated mobile payments powered by face recognition. The concept involves substituting a user’s face instead of a traditional password, when purchasing items online. Though not commercialy available for consumers, we suspect it’s simply a matter of time before it is.
As for implementation, Face++’s solution just needs your smartphone’s camera. That’s it. Ye average face recognition tool analyzes five points – eyes, nose, and the corners of the mouth, but Face++ analyses a total of 83 points.
Besides password replacement and payments, Face++ is currently looking into intelligent video analysis, retail applications, and security.