Polar Rose raises $5.1M for facial recognition

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Malmö, Sweden-based Polar Rose just wrote in to tell us it has received $5.1 million in Series A funding from Nordic Venture Partners. The company promises it will offer facial recognition for all photos on the web, what Riya was doing before it changed course to the more forgiving task of fashion recognition. Apparently Polar Rose goes beyond facial recognition, and includes 3D modeling, but a beta won’t be out till next year.

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Nikolaj Nyholm


Thanks for picking this up. Just a quick note about Polar Rose vis-a-vis Riya.

Riya applied face recognition technology as the central functionality in their photosharing service thus competing with the likes of Flickr, Fotolog, and Photobucket.
Polar Rose on the other hand will be a layer upon any photo on any site, not just to individual albums as Riya did in their now-abandoned service.

We won’t deny inspiration from Riya’s ‘democratic’ application of a technology previously reserved for security and surveillance buffs (we’ve been there, too), but when we back in March decided to build Polar Rose it was because we thought Riya’s single-album proprietary-service approach was flawed.

Face/object recognition should be an enabler, not the core functionality of any service or application. It seems that Riya recognizes that now, too, and I commend them for that.

Thanks for your ongoing support and inspiration.


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