Facebook announced Monday that the social networking powerhouse has acquired facial recognition startup Face.com for an undisclosed sum, which is estimated to be around $100 million. Face.com has provided Facebook with services for more than two years and confirmed the buyout Monday in a blog post.
"By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we'll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers — that's all we've ever wanted to do," Face.com CEO Gil Hirsch wrote.
Founded in 2007, the Israeli company has since raised $5.8 million. The startup works with several Facebook apps to detect and identify faces in pictures. The company's software has been used by thousands of companies online to date.
"People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com's technology has helped to provide the best photo experience," Facebook said in a statement. "This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house."
Facebook has recently acquired several companies, including Instagram, to help with their photo sharing services. Face.com is Facebook's second acquisition from Israel, the first being Snaptu for $70 million in March 2011.
The Face.com team will stay on board despite the acquisition. Hirsch, CTO Yaniv Taigman, chairman Moti Shniberg, and director Eden Shochat who co-founded Face.com, will continue their original mission and daily workload.
Face.com investors include Yandex, which invested $4.3 million in September 2011, and Rhodium Ventures with a stake of 18.4 percent.
Other companies have tried to acquire Face.com, Hirsch said, but Facebook's offer was "too good to pass up," he said. "I learned that if you get a good offer, take it," he told CNN.
Danielle Chazen is a regular contributor to Jspace's technology division. Danielle is a freelance reporter and technology event coordinator with a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.