Calgary’s Slyce Raises Another $12 Million, Wins the Game of Canadian Venture Capital

It’s official: I’m quitting my job and applying at Slyce. That’s because the Calgary-based visual product search platform has raised $12 million today from the likes of Canaccord Genuity Corp. and including Salman Partners Inc., Cormark Securities Inc., and Beacon Securities Ltd.

The move comes just a few months after Slyce raised $10.75 million from PI Financial, Salman Partners, Harrington Global and other investors. Before that it raised a convertable debenture round of $2.2 million, and in total it has raised $27 million. So yeah, Slyce has a lot of money now (and no, I can’t actually quit my job).

Now the company is dubbing itself “The Want Engine,” and is engaged with a number of leading North American retailers and publishers, integrating visual search technology into existing mobile commerce apps and activating web content for purchasing through images.

The Slyce technology enables a retailer’s customer to snap a smartphone picture of any item they find in the real world, or hover over any image online, and be instantly provided with all direct, or close-matching products from the retailer’s Inventory which can be purchased instantly – at the exact moment of consumer impulse.

“The ability to effectively make the entire real-world a showroom has become a compelling proposition for retailers,” said president Mark Elfenbein. “The key benefit of the Slyce technology, and why it’s being so well received in the market, is it allows for the one click identification of products that are not only inside of the package but for those products that are unpackaged such as a women’s handbag, dress or home décor.”

The company indicated in a press release that Amazon, likely their biggest foe, recently came out with its “Firefly” technology, a visual search technology. Amazon “has provided further validation to the substantial role visual search is set to play in the shopping environment. It also, however, considerably raised the stakes for other retailers as it effectively makes the real-world – including traditional retailers’ bricks and mortar stores – an Amazon showroom.”

Slyce might be Canada’s fastest growing startup: In April it announced its intent to list on the TSX Venture Exchange (“TSX-V”). It’s also celebrating the creation of new technology hub, expected to employ up to 60 people.

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