Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has invested an undisclosed sum in Israeli start-up Visualead, developer of the “visual” QR code technology adopted by Chinese social media site RenRen in May last year. The companies have also entered into a strategic cooperation agreement that will give Alibaba the right to use Visualead’s patents and technology across its ecosystem.
“Visualead’s computer vision and machine learning technology turns any image, profile picture, animation and even video into an engaging and effective visual QR code which can be easily scanned by any QR code reader,” the start-up explains. “Based on Visualead’s experience, consumers are up to four times more likely to scan a visual QR code than a regular black and white QR code.”
“Visualead is working closely with Mashangtao, the scannable code technology service of Alibaba Group, to provide innovative tools and solutions to sellers on Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com, China’s two biggest online shopping platforms,” the company adds. “Mashangtao recently utilised Visualead’s visual QR code technology to enable merchants to generate QR codes.”
“Working with Visualead, a dynamic start-up and first mover in this field, is the next logical step as we seek to enhance customer engagement on mobile platforms,” says Mashangtao director Zhang Kuo.
“We believe that Visualead’s leading visual QR code technology will complement our mobile marketing initiatives and enhance our ability to take advantage of the booming O2O (Online to Offline) opportunities in China.”