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Twiggle Raises $15M Led by MizMaa Ventures and Korea Investment Partners

11 May 2017
In Ventures

Twiggle Raises $15M Led by MizMaa Ventures and Korea Investment Partners (May 11, 2017) Tel-Aviv, Israel – Twiggle, the company pioneering the use of artificial intelligence in online retail, today announced it has raised $15 million in funding led by MizMaa Ventures and Korea Investment Partners. Twiggle will use the funds to accelerate product development, expand its US-based operations, and hire additional customer-success, marketing, and sales professionals. Joining MizMaa Ventures and Korea Investment Partners are Twiggle’s existing investors, bringing Twiggle’s total financing to over $33 million.

Twiggle’s patented technology relies on natural language processing to actually understand what the customer is looking to buy and match it to the items for sale, leading to improved relevance and recall from day one. “Search is the most personal touchpoint in the buying process. It’s the place where the customer is telling you what they want. If the experience is a bad one - you may never see that customer again,” said Twiggle co-founder and CEO Dr. Amir Konigsberg. “Our customers are looking to leverage the latest technologies to improve conversion and gain a competitive advantage, but they do not want to lose control over their search stack. Twiggle is the first and only company offering semantic search capabilities without replacing its customers’ search engines.”

The investment comes at a time of tremendous momentum for the company. Twiggle’s key milestones include:
  • Product Innovation – In March 2017, Twiggle debuted its Semantic API, which instantly gives retailers the ability to add a semantic layer to their existing search engines and interact with their online customers in a more personal and natural way. Twiggle’s customers are seeing an average uplift in search relevance of 23.5% and an average conversion rate lift of 18%.
  • Market Accolades – Was named by CB Insights as a company to watch working in artificial intelligence and retail.
  • Team Growth – Doubled headcount since October 2016.
“We are witnessing a massive shift in ecommerce with more and more companies investing in effective site search functionality as an increasingly important component of a successful digital strategy,” said Catherine Leung, co-Founder of MizMaa Ventures. “With high profile customers, an awesome product addressing a huge market, and proven leadership, Twiggle has exactly the combination of assets we look for in an investment.”

“Retailers large and small – including many of our own portfolio companies - understand the need to dramatically improve their site search and quickly leverage new technologies to improve customer experience, and Twiggle is well-positioned to take advantage of this shift,” said Lee Clancy, Head of Product & Mobile Strategy at Naspers Ventures and a member of Twiggle’s Board. “Our continued investment in the business is a testament to Twiggle’s strategy and market leadership.”

“It is rare to find such a strong team disrupting a massive industry with a game-changing solution,” said Yuval Baharav, Partner at State of Mind Ventures. “We invested in Twiggle from the very beginning and we are thrilled to be part of their journey. No company is better positioned to reinvent the ecommerce search experience.”  

“This stamp of approval from such high caliber investors as MizMaa Ventures and Korea Investment Partners validates Twiggle’s ability to transform the online shopping experience,” said Twiggle CEO Dr. Amir Konigsberg. “It also helps expand Twiggle’s reach in Asia, the fastest growing retail ecommerce market. I look forward to working with our stellar board, our dedicated and passionate team, and our forward-thinking customers and partners to drive better site search and reinvent the online shopping experience.” 

Joining Twiggle’s expansion are VP R&D Amir Di-Nur and VP Customer Success Richard Grey. Di-Nur guides Twiggle’s engineering and technical teams, building and refining Twiggle’s powerful machine-learning systems that enhance customer site search on both web and mobile. Prior to joining Twiggle, Di-Nur was the VP R&D at JustVisual, a visual search and image-recognition technology company, where he oversaw the development of its visual search engine from the ground up. Grey leads Twiggle’s customer success team. He joins Twiggle after eleven years leading customer operations for LivePerson in EMEA. Grey helped spearhead LivePerson’s development into a leading provider of cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions.

Twiggle is also announcing today that search guru Daniel Tunkelang is joining the company as its Chief Search Evangelist. Tunkelang was a founding member and Chief Scientist of Endeca, a search company which sold to Oracle for over $1 billion in 2011. Tunkelang has also led search teams for Google and was the director of data science and search engineering for LinkedIn. His expertise in search, and specifically query understanding, is regularly sought by companies, including Apple, Etsy, Salesforce, and Yelp.

About Twiggle:
Founded in 2014 by Dr. Amir Konigsberg and Dr. Adi Avidor, two ex-Googlers, Twiggle uses the most advanced technologies in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to power next generation e-commerce experiences. Twiggle's solutions are the only search technologies built on both human-like understanding of linguistic structure and a deep retail awareness — allowing search engines to mimic how an experienced salesperson would (and should) behave. Twiggle is backed by some of the world’s most respected entrepreneurs and investors, including Alibaba, Naspers, Yahoo! Japan, State of Mind Ventures, MizMaa Ventures and Korea Investment Partners. Dr. Udi Manber, former Head of Search at Google, Amazon, and Yahoo, is a member of Twiggle's Board of Directors.

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