Apple May Have Acquired AI Visual Search Startup Fashwell


macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001

Apple may have purchased image recognition startup Fashwell, a company that designed an engine able to recognize products in images to make photos shoppable.

Fashwell CEO Matthias Dantone, CSO Lukas Bossard, and CTO Michael Emmersberger all list Apple as an employer as of January 2019, suggesting an acquisition in late 2018.

Dantone's LinkedIn profile says that he works on Apple's machine learning team, while Bossard and Emmersberger are listed as machine learning managers at Apple.

Five of six other former Fashwell employees also now list Apple as an employer on their LinkedIn profiles, with many of those also on Apple's machine learning team. Fashwell's website is still up and running, but hasn't been updated since late 2018, and the same goes for the company's Twitter account.

Based on information shared on the Fashwell website, Fashwell developed a Visual Search tool to allow shoppers to search for products using an image.
FASHWELL's Visual Search is a search by image solution that we distribute through a flexible API. Add a camera icon to every search bar & allow your customers to shop with any image on your mobile applications and website.

Visual Search improves search success and prevents shop drop-offs, and it's 2x faster than text-based searches - leading to 35% m-o-m growth in usage, higher than any other user channel.
Fashwell's API also supported image tagging to make any image shoppable using its Virtual Search technology, making it easy for companies to auto-tag images with "speed, precision, and at scale." A product tagging API could be used to tag images with different attributes, such as category and design.

Fashwell also offered a visual recommendation tool, allowing image recognition to power product recommendations for product detail pages. Companies could use the feature to embed visually similar products on websites to recommend additional products to customers.

Apple could perhaps adopt Fashwell's technology for its Apple Store website and its Apple Store app in the future, improving the Apple Store shopping experience. We've emailed Apple for comment and will update this article if we hear back.

Apple has acquired several similar AI and machine learning companies over the course of the last few years, including Silk Labs, Laserlike, Perceptio, and more.

Article Link: Apple May Have Acquired AI Visual Search Startup Fashwell


macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2018
The Netherlands
I can confirm this. Spoke to someone who has worked at Fashwell a few weeks ago. While she did not mention the company, she did say the founders are now working for Apple.

now i see it

macrumors 68040
Jan 2, 2002
bet the brains behind the software quit working at  within 5 years. Same old story like w broken record. Imported employees from gobbled up companies never last.


macrumors 6502
Mar 18, 2010
Over There
My dyslexia mind first read, and comprehended the headline as;

Apple May Have Acquired AI Visual Search Startup Flashwell
A site for perverts to practice flashing in private?

Seriously, this technology could be interesting in that it may one day identify the brands that people (you, I, & them) wear. Imagine a well known socialite/actor/billionaire being identified wearing Walmart attire? Or, capturing that fake Rolex on their wrist. And look at those shoes.....!



macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
It's Silicon Valley. There's a certain type of person who gets bored easily and moves onto new startups. Especially after receiving a good cash-out from the last one.
For sure. I spent 7 months at my first Silicon Valley job, 3 months at my second, then 9 years at my third - I was considered a weirdo for staying at AMD that long. Well, that and other reasons :)

It’s actually pretty remarkable that most of the CPU team at Apple has stayed as long as they have.