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Facebook acquires visual shopping and artificial intelligence startup GrokStyle

Facebook

GrokStyle, a startup which enables users to find the product online just by capturing its photo, has now been acquired by Facebook. The acquisition of the visual shopping and AI startup is a step forward for the social media giant to bolster its own artificial intelligence work.

The technology developed by GrokStyle, which was also integrated into Ikea’s mobile app, was simple in practice. A user takes a picture of a piece of furniture and the technology would match it to similar products that could be purchased online.

On its website, GrokStyle said it is “winding down” its business, but that it is “moving on as a team” along with its technology. However, the company has not declared that it’s joining the Facebook team.

In a statement, Facebook spokeswoman Vanessa Chan said, “We are excited to welcome GrokStyle to Facebook. Their team and technology will contribute to our AI capabilities.” However, she declined to disclose the financial details related to the acquisition deal.

While it’s not made clear by Facebook where it plans to use the GrokStyle technology, it makes sense for the company to use it for Facebook Marketplace, which is the social media platform’s service for buying and selling items from other Facebook users on its social network.

This is the second acquisition by Facebook in this year so far. Earlier this month, the company bought the team behind blockchain technology company Chainspace for an undisclosed sum. The company has purchased at least four firms last year, which includes startups focused on messaging and artificial intelligence.


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