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Alibaba Invests in Israeli E-commerce Search Company ‘Twiggle’

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Twiggle uses advanced techniques in data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing to power digital commerce.

As reported in Globes;

Israeli startup Twiggle, which is developing next generation e-commerce search technologies, announced today that it secured additional funding from the Alibaba Group as the second tranche of its Series A financing. This follows the announcement in April of a $12.5 million round led by Naspers with participation from YJ Capital, State of Mind Ventures and Sir Ronald Cohen. The funding will be utilized to grow the company’s R&D team in Israel and drive the company’s global expansion plans. No details were disclosed about the amount Alibaba is investing but “Bloomberg” reported that it is $5-10 million.

Twiggle uses advanced techniques in data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing to power the next generation of digital commerce. The company was founded in 2013 by CEO Dr. Amir Konigsberg and CTO Dr. Adi Avidor.

Konigsberg said, “We’re redefining the way users engage with e-commerce, and we take it as the utmost validation of Twiggle’s vision and potential that a global company like Alibaba would join us on this journey. We are wholly focused on bringing the most advanced search experience and technologies to digital commerce to help this industry take a massive leap forward. Alibaba is an incredible company and we’re delighted to partner with them.”

Twiggle has developed a platform for e-commerce search based on its proprietary commerce knowledge graph and natural language search systems. These are designed to make commerce search more intuitive, effective, and suited to next generation of Search mediums such as mobile search, voice based search, and conversational interfaces.

Naspers Ventures CEO Larry Illg said, “Twiggle is setting a new industry standard for ecommerce search and discovery, redefining the sector with a search platform that will bring unparalleled precision and accuracy. This investment is yet another example of our commitment to utilizing our broad network to help identify and support the most exciting digital startups.”

The company also announced two significant additions to the Twiggle team. Dr. Udi Manber, former Chief Scientist at Yahoo, founder & CEO of Amazon’s search unit A9, and Head of Search at Google, has joined the company’s Board of Directors. Noa Ganot, former Head of Product in eBay’s structured data organization, has joined Twiggle as Vice President of Product.