• Japan's leading mobile operator NTT DOCOMO part of investment round in AI company, along with Draper Esprit and Global Brain
• AI firm Realeyes, whose technology enables desktop and mobile devices to measure human emotions and attention levels using webcams, to use investment to expand its products into new industries beyond marketing sector
Realeyes, whose emotion AI-powered products help brands such as Coca-Cola, Expedia and AT&T, maximise the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, today announces a $12.4M (€11M) funding round.
The investment is led by current investors Draper Esprit, and NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc., the VC arm of NTT DOCOMO INC, Japan's leading mobile operator. They are joined by Global Brain, the largest VC fund in Japan, plus previous investors Karma Ventures and The Entrepreneurs Fund.
The funding round will be used to drive the company’s expansion into Japan, the third largest advertising market in the world, and develop its technology beyond the marketing sector and into new areas such as smart cities, mental wellbeing and robotics. More than half of Realeyes’ 78 employees currently work in R&D. The new investment round, which will also be used to scale the company’s offering across the US and EMEA, takes the total funding raised by the company to $31.1M.
Using the latest in AI and computer vision, Realeyes’ technology enables any mobile or desktop webcam to measure the emotions and attention levels of consumers as they watch content. Realeyes’ Emotion AI platform enables brands, agencies and media companies to quantify and optimise the effectiveness of their creative and informs their media buying strategies.
CEO Mihkel Jäätma, who co-founded Realeyes with CPO Martin Salo and CTO Elnar Hajiyev while studying at Oxford University, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Realeyes. Thanks to the unwavering support of our existing investors, Draper Esprit, Karma Ventures and The Entrepreneurs Fund, Realeyes’ solutions will continue to revolutionise the way marketers measure the effectiveness of their global ad campaigns using the speed and scale of AI.
“And with new Japanese investors, NTT DOCOMO Ventures and Global Brain, now on board, we have the perfect partners to help us expand into one of the biggest and most exciting ad markets in the world. There’s an almost insatiable appetite for online video in Japan, and Realeyes’ AI-powered solutions provides the perfect, data-driven solution for advertisers looking to make the most of this huge demand.
"Realeyes is on a mission to humanise technology, fundamentally changing the way we interact with our devices every single day."
“But this is only the start of the Realeyes journey. Moving beyond the marketing sector, we’ve only seen a glimpse of what emotion AI can do. Boosted by the global rollout of 5G networks, Realeyes is on a mission to humanise technology, fundamentally changing the way we interact with our devices every single day. As our dependency on technology grows with every passing day, it only makes sense to enable our devices to understand what truly drives us.”
Takayuki Inagawa, President & CEO of NTT DOCOMO Ventures, said: “Realeyes’ tech is changing the way marketers measure the effectiveness of their content at scale, helping inform their creative testing and media planning strategies. Its AI-powered products are driving a much richer, more data-driven understanding of how consumers really feel about their content. It’s a solution that’s very highly rated, and we’re expecting to see further growth in the applicable market. Additionally, there‘s a high affinity between Realeyes’ ground-breaking solution and individual companies within the NTT Group.”
Stuart Chapman, Chief Operating Officer at Draper Esprit, said: “Realeyes has established itself as the go-to player for brands wanting to understand how their audiences react to their content and, working with leading companies such as Expedia, Mars and Shell, they are changing the way that marketers think about their marketing campaigns. Realeyes’ platform is precisely the sort of disruptive technology that we love to invest in, and we are delighted to support Mihkel, Martin, Elnar and the team on the next exciting stage of their development.”
As well as using webcams to analyse the emotions and attention levels of consumers, Realeyes also uses AI to analyse the word-for-word sentiment of viewers’ custom survey responses, giving brands an additional layer of data to optimise their marketing campaigns.
The emotion AI company’s customers also include brands such as Hershey’s and Mars Inc, agencies Ipsos, MarketCast and Publicis, and media companies such as Warner Media and Teads. The firm has offices in London, New York, Boston and Budapest.
Using webcams and the latest in computer vision and machine learning technologies, Realeyes measures how people feel as they watch video content online, enabling brands, agencies and media companies to optimize their content and help target their videos at the right audiences.
Founded in 2007, the global company has offices in New York, Boston, London and Budapest. Customers include brands such as Mars, AT&T, Hershey’s and Coca-Cola, agencies Ipsos, MarketCast and Publicis, and media companies such as Warner Media and Teads.
Email: David Waterhouse