E-commerce operator Naspers led a $12.5 million investment that Twiggle will use to expand globally.
(Bloomberg)—A Yahoo Japan-backed Israeli startup, Twiggle, has lined up a funding round led by Naspers Ltd., the Cape Town, South Africa-based group known for its early investment in Chinese e-commerce site Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Twiggle, a web- and mobile-based service focused on search, aims to license its software to leading online retailing companies around the world and will use the $12.5 million in funding to expand globally.
Using machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing coupled with a deep knowledge of e-commerce, Twiggle says it has brought sales consultancy to the virtual shopping experience. Search for the best laptop and Twiggle will try to understand what “best” means—highest screen resolution, most memory, or longest battery life, among other features.
“About 25 years ago when Amazon started, they did something amazing—they gave everyone the possibility to shop from home,” Twiggle CEO and co-founder Amir Konigsberg said in an interview. “But what they took away is the salesperson expertise.”
Twiggle plans to partner with Naspers’ companies and license its technology to other large e-commerce platforms and is coming to market as global online sales continue to climb. Naspers owns 34% of Chinese Internet operator Tencent, a major investor in JD.com, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 China 500. Consulting firm A.T. Kearney forecast in a recent report that global online sales would reach nearly $1 trillion in 2015, growing to $1.5 trillion by 2018. Read more
Adapted from internetretailer.com