from the February 2017 issue

Apple buys Israel’s facial recognition firm RealFace – report

US giant acquires Tel Aviv-based Israeli cybertechnology startup for a couple of million dollars.

Apple Inc. has acquired Israel’s Realface, a cybertechnology startup whose facial recognition technology can be used to authenticate users. This is Apple’s fourth acquisition in Israel and the deal is estimated to be worth a couple of million of dollars.

Realface, set up in 2014 by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, has developed a facial recognition software that offers users a smart biometric login, aiming to make passwords redundant when accessing mobile devices or PCs.

The Tel Aviv-based firm had raised $1 million prior to the acquisition and employs 10 people. The company has sales in China, Israel, Europe, and the US. RealFace’s first product, the Pickeez app, created a new way to enjoy photos, with its recognition software automatically choosing the user’s best photos from every platform they’re on.

Besides RealFace, Apple has acquired three other Israeli companies to date. In 2011 it bought flash memory maker Anobit for a reported $400 million. In November 2013 it acquired 3D sensor company PrimeSense for a reported $345 million, and in 2015 it bought LinX for an estimated 20 million.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report February 2017

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