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Toronto-Based Slyce Raises $6 Million To Help You Shop

slyce

Does this ever happen to you:

You see someone with something you’d like to own, but when you get online to search for it, you can’t quite articulate what it was?

With the new Slyce platform, you can just snap a picture of the item and find out where to purchase it. In a lot of cases, you’ll also be able to buy it right away.

While this sounds cool from a consumer standpoint, think about what this could mean for retailers. Suddenly, shoppers can find you more easily than ever before, right when they are in the mood to buy what you’re selling. For the niche, unique retailers, a platform like Slyce could mean a huge boost in business.

We’ve talked about the Big Instincts Group before. If even one of their most recent bets pan out, they’ll definitely be a company to watch.

Our Q&A with the Slyce team is below:

What does your company do?

Slyce is a visual search platform that allows Users to instantly purchase items in the real world simply by taking a picture with their smartphone.

Slyce will exist as both an independent consumer application, and a white label solution which can be integrated with existing retailer technologies. Using advanced visual recognition on smartphones as well as through a desktop application, Slyce is enabling retailers to be there at a consumers exact point of interest and ultimately changing the way retailers and consumers search and purchase items.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?

Cameron Chell and Erika Racicot are Co-founders of Slyce and are also co-founders of venture-creation firm, Business Instincts Group . The pair have been working together for over 5 years. Cameron is considered one of the original founders of the Application Service Provider industry, and founded the original cloud computing company, FutureLink. Erika is the operational driver at Slyce and has a background in operations and marketing, working in industries ranging from technology to hospitality to politics.

Where are you based?

Slyce’s headquarters is located in Toronto, but they also have offices in Minneapolis and Calgary.

What’s the startup scene like where you are based?

The Toronto startup scene is arguably the largest in Canada. There is a strong, supportive community with incubators, accelerators, events, meetups and genuinely smart and innovative people. There are a numerous great startups which call Toronto home, and we’re excited to be involved in that community.

What problem do you solve?

For any consumer who has seen something they love and then struggled to clearly articulate that item in a search query, Slyce visual product search is the multi-dimensional and intuitive answer to their prayers. For retailers, the Slyce image recognition technology can be adapted in innumerable ways to facilitate all kinds of innovative functionality.  For the first time, Slyce enables retailers to engage and transact with consumers at their very point of interest.

Why now?

Smartphones are becoming our most trusted and adored possession and taking pictures with them, part of our daily life. Approximately 350 million photographs are uploaded just to Facebook every day! People take pictures of items they want, or clothes they like, and with the Slyce platform we help them discover where exactly they can purchase that item and enable them to do so almost instantaneously. The way the offering is structured means Slyce competes both in the visual search arena, and the social shopping sector. With mobile shopping accounting for 39% of all online traffic during this holiday season, there is a clear opportunity to get deeply involved and grow the shopping experience.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

Over the past 12 months Slyce has raised just over $6 Million in financing and just last week announced the acquisition of another visual search tech startup, Hovr.it.

What are your next milestones?  

Upcoming milestones will be in customer acquisition and product development. We will be closing another round of financing early in 2014 and are currently looking to expand our Toronto team in order to scale quickly and effectively.

  • k

    FYI 5th paragraph, the name should read “Business Instincts Group”, not “Big Instincts Group”