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When you load images to Google Plus, it automatically detects if the image has been enhanced. Yet Russian startup Picture Manipulation Inspector (by SMTDP Tech Ltd) goes further. Its technology can detect if an image or (interestingly) a scanned document is an original or a fake, and a degree of manipulation.
This week Russian fund Flint Capital and Russian government-backed Foundation for Internet Development Initiatives FRII have announced investing in Picture Manipulation Inspector, citing the market potential for the service of $1 billion but withholding the size of the investment.
Founded by Andrey, Yakov and Petr Severukhins in 2011, the service can detect a broad range of manipulation using computer vision technology. It is already popular in energy sector, as well as with insurance companies and advertisement agencies, not to mention criminalistics experts. The company reports over 400,000 Euros in orders in B2B sector. According to Oleg Seydak of Flint Capital there are no dominant players on the market, and the expected market share for the project is 10 percent (or $100 million).
The real purpose of the service is not, as you might have hoped, to detect photoshopped photos on Facebook, but to verify whether electronic documents are genuine. It can also be used to verify profile photos on the dating sites or social networks but it seems dating sites spend way too much money on advertisement lately to be able to afford technological innovations.
Both Flint Capital and FRII are new investors in Russia launched in spring 2013. FRII has recently accepted a first batch of teams in its acceleration program, that offers training and consultations, as well as a chance to receive up to $450,000 upon completion of the project.
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